Lane Johnson

Eagles’ Nelson Agholor Out Vs. Seahawks

The Eagles will face the Seahawks without the services of Nelson Agholor. The wide receiver’s knee injury will sideline him for the opening round of the playoffs, head coach Doug Pederson announced. 

Agholor has not played since suffering a knee injury in Week 13. Before that, he caught 39 passes for 363 yards and three touchdowns in eleven games.

Meanwhile, the statuses of tight end Zach Ertz and right tackle Lane Johnson remain murky.

Zach [is] still not cleared for any contact,” Pederson said. “He will work a little bit on the side again like he’s done this week and stuff like that, but we’re waiting on a few doctor results tomorrow. If things go favorable, he’ll play. If they don’t, he won’t.”

The Eagles can get by without Agholor, but it won’t be easy for Carson Wentz to move the chains or convert in the red zone without Ertz. The tight end caught 88 passes for 916 yards and six touchdowns this season, giving him his third-straight Pro Bowl nod. Ertz is known for his toughness, but doctors won’t let him take the field unless his broken rib and lacerated kidney show drastic improvement.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles G Brandon Brooks Out For Playoffs

The Eagles just can’t catch a break this year. Philadelphia clinched the NFC East title and a playoff berth with its win over the Giants on Sunday, but guard Brandon Brooks suffered a shoulder injury in the game. Head coach Doug Pederson announced today that Brooks will miss the Eagles’ playoff run as a result.

The Eagles, who have been ravaged by injuries this season, may be without tight end Zach Ertz as well. Brooks, like Ertz, is one of the best at his position, and he was named to his third consecutive Pro Bowl this year.

Despite suffering an Achilles tear in January, Brooks played in all 16 games for the Eagles in 2019, providing much-needed consistency for an offense that desperately needed it. Brooks’ running mate on the right side of the line, RT Lane Johnson, is dealing with an ankle injury but is expected to work his way back into practice this week and hopes to play in the team’s wildcard bout with the Seahawks.

Brooks, 30, signed a four-year, $54.2MM extension with the Eagles in November, which will keep him under club control through the 2024 campaign.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC East Notes: Dak, D-Jax, Eagles, Giants

After a week of limited practices, two of which involving no throwing, Dak Prescott is no longer on the Cowboys‘ Week 16 injury report. Prescott will make his 63rd straight regular-season start Sunday. He participated in light throwing drills Friday, according to Todd Archer of ESPN.com. While Prescott’s status never seemed to be in doubt, his practice routine this week was notable. The former offensive rookie of the year had never previously been designated as limited during his four-year career.

Here is the latest from the NFC East, shifting first to the other team in Sunday’s marquee game.

  • Should the Eagles pull off the upset Sunday and then defeat the Giants in their regular-season finale, they would make the playoffs. If that happens, DeSean Jackson offered a glimmer of hope he could return from IR. Weeks after undergoing groin surgery, the 33-year-old wide receiver shared a workout video of him featuring sprints and agility drills (Instagram link). If Jackson does not experience any setbacks, Adam Caplan of Sirius XM Radio tweets he is on target to play once eligible. However, Jackson not being eligible until the divisional round may make this a moot point for the 7-7 Eagles. Philadelphia has Jackson and Alshon Jeffery on IR, and Nelson Agholor may be on the wrong end of questionable after not practicing all week.
  • Said upset will be a bit more difficult without Lane Johnson, who will miss a second straight game because of the high ankle sprain he suffered in Week 14. The Eagles declared their All-Pro right tackle out against the Cowboys. Johnson has missed two games this season, the first due to a concussion. Halapoulivaati Vaitai will draw the start.
  • Golden Tate‘s 2020 salary was to be guaranteed, but because of the PED suspension the Giants wideout received, he now could be a cut candidate. The 31-year-old receiver, whose $7.98MM base salary next year is no longer guaranteed, addressed this prospect this week. “There’s not 100% certainty in really anything,” Tate said, via the New York Post’s Ryan Dunleavy. “I definitely hope and plan to be here. I think I’ve proven to be a solid leader for our locker room. I feel like I’ve been productive, and I haven’t shown a decline. But I don’t know what people upstairs think.” Rookie fifth-rounder Darius Slayton‘s emergence will likely play a role in the team’s decision. Slayton, Sterling Shepard and Tate are all signed through at least the 2022 season.

NFC East Notes: Cowboys, Giants, Johnson

The Cowboys‘ best teams during the Jerry Jones era came under head coaches the owner hired from the college ranks, with Jimmy Johnson and Barry Switzer combining for three Super Bowl wins and six playoff berths from 1991-96. But the owner’s past five HC hires have come from the professional ranks. Jones is either attempting a stealth run at a college coach this time around or has changed his line of thinking since the Johnson-Switzer days.

“College coaches have the lowest — at head coach, coming directly into head coach — have the lowest percentage rate of success as opposed to coming from coordinator, as opposed to coming from the NFL or as opposed to coming from a head coaching job in the NFL,” Jones said during an interview with 105.3 The Fan (via The Athletic’s Jon Machota, subscription required). “It’s pretty obvious they have to get acquainted with personnel. … So you pay a price for somebody to get up to date that haven’t spent the prior months or years in the NFL.”

Both Oklahoma’s Lincoln Riley and acclaimed ex-Ohio State leader Urban Meyer have been linked to the Cowboys, so it’s probably best not to dismiss Jones going the college route. But this stance does not point to the 77-year-old owner looking beyond the pro ranks for Jason Garrett‘s replacement.

Here’s the latest from the NFC East:

  • Giants fans eager for perhaps one final Eli Manning start at MetLife Stadium will be pleased Sunday. Daniel Jones will be given another week off due to his high ankle sprain, keeping Manning in the starting lineup for a Week 15 home tilt against the Dolphins. The 38-year-old quarterback threw two touchdown passes and did not turn the ball over on a rainy night against the Eagles, following an 11-game stretch featuring at least one Jones turnover. The Giants currently stand in the No. 2 overall draft slot, so Sunday’s game against the 3-10 Dolphins — with the 3-10 Redskins and 3-9-1 Lions and Cardinals looming — will be important for draft positioning.
  • Cut from the Giants largely because of a non-apology apology for using the word “retard” in a tweet to a fan, Janoris Jenkins is on the waiver wire this weekend. During an interview with TMZ, the veteran cornerback was more contrite. “It’s always a learning moment, man. Everybody’s going to learn from different situations … move forward and learn,” Jenkins said. “You just admit to it. Admit that you did wrong, which I did.” This, of course, comes at a time when Jenkins would prefer a team claim the balance of his five-year, $62.5MM contract. The 31-year-old defender is due to carry a non-guaranteed $10.15MM base salary in 2020. Envisioning a team claiming that seems difficult at this point.
  • The Eagles will be without Lane Johnson against the Redskins. The Pro Bowl right tackle left Monday night’s game in the first half due to an ankle injury. Johnson missed the Eagles’ Week 12 game because of a concussion.

Eagles’ Alshon Jeffery Done For Year?

The Eagles topped the Giants in overtime on Monday night, but the win may prove to be costly. Offensive lineman Lane Johnson is “week to week” with a sore ankle and wide receiver Alshon Jeffery suffered a foot injury that is more significant than Johnson’s, head coach Doug Pederson told reporters. 

With only three games left in the regular season, it sounds like Jeffery might be done for the season. That would be a bad blow for the Eagles as they fight for the NFC East crown and an opportunity to capture another Super Bowl ring.

Jeffery hauled in 65 catches for 843 yards and six touchdowns in 2018. Before Monday’s game, and his early exit to the medical tent, he had 43 catches for 430 yards and four touchdowns for the 2019 season.

Johnson, 29, was on the field for every offensive snap in ten of his twelve games this year. The Eagles will hope to have him back this Sunday against the Redskins as he plays out his recently-inked four-year, $72MM extension, which includes a staggering guarantee of $54.595MM.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles, Lane Johnson Agree To Extension

The Eagles and Lane Johnson agreed on a record extension Friday. In a year featuring several re-ups for Eagles offensive linemen, Johnson agreed to a four-year, $72MM deal, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com reports (on Twitter).

Johnson will receive a staggering $54.595MM guaranteed in this contract, per Garafolo. In terms of per-year value ($18MM), this is the most lucrative contract given to an offensive lineman. The seventh-year lineman’s guarantee also tops the league, making this a banner day for Johnson and the oft-overlooked right tackle position.

This marks a near-$7MM-per-year raise for Johnson, who was previously signed to a five-year, $56.25MM deal that ran through the 2021 season. The 29-year-old blocker is now signed through 2025.

This pact follows a spree of 2019 extensions, with the Eagles planning far ahead with their O-line. Philadelphia has extended Johnson, Brandon Brooks, Jason Kelce and Isaac Seumalo this year. Four members of Philly’s current front five are locked up into the mid-2020s, with only 37-year-old Jason Peters on a year-to-year setup at this point. While the Johnson deal represents the biggest number, the Eagles are showing tremendous faith in their current blockers.

Philly now employs the highest-paid tackle and guard in the league, with Brooks’ $14MM-per-year deal edging Zack Martin‘s pact earlier this month. Johnson’s new contract eclipses Trent Brown‘s $16.5MM-AAV price set earlier this year. The NFL’s two highest-paid offensive linemen, interestingly, now each play right tackle. The highest-paid left tackle, Taylor Lewan, signed for $16MM annually last year. Johnson’s deal figures to move that market, however.

Taken in a 2013 draft that produced several top-10 busts, Johnson is the rare Pro Bowl right tackle. Twice given the honor that almost exclusively goes to left tackles, Johnson has helped the Eagles form one of the league’s top lines. Pro Football Focus grades Johnson as this season’s No. 2 overall tackle.

He has dealt with suspension and injury issues, however. Johnson has missed 14 career games due to two PED bans, the most recent of which in 2016. He earned first-team All-Pro honors the next year and helped the Eagles to their first Super Bowl title. Helping to explain the record-smashing contract: in Carson Wentz‘s four-year career, his QBR figure drops by more than 20 points without Johnson in the lineup. He is set to return to Philadelphia’s lineup this week after missing Week 12 with a concussion.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles Lane Johnson Will Start Sunday

Eagles starting right tackle Lane Johnson was cleared from the league’s concussion protocol and will return to the lineup on Sunday, according to Jeff McLane of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Johnson sustained a concussion in Philadelphia’s Week 11 matchup against the Patriots and missed last week’s 17-9 loss to the Seahawks.

Johnson’s return will be a sign of relief for the Eagles, who were without the entire starting right side of their offensive line last week. Philadelphia’s offense, especially quarterback Carson Wentz, have appeared in disarray in recent weeks, but playing some of the best defenses in football without full strength along their offensive front just added to a perfect storm of problems.

While the team is surely disappointed with a 5-6 start to the season, the rest of the division’s struggles leaves them within striking distance of a playoff spot. After the Cowboys loss on Thanksgiving dropped them to 6-6, Philly is only a half-game back for the division lead in the NFC East. Furthermore, the Eagles will host the Cowboys in Week 16 and have a much easier schedule than their division foe. Dallas’ opponents, aside from the Eagles, have a combined 14-20 record while Philadelphia’s have just a combined 8-36 record.

Tackle Notes: Saints, Bulaga, Bolles, Eagles

The Saints have encountered more offensive line injury trouble, and it comes at a bad time. Left tackle Terron Armstead is believed to have suffered a high ankle sprain, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). The standout blocker will miss Thursday’s game against the Falcons, and while New Orleans’ subsequent mini-bye would give the seventh-year blocker a chance to return against the 49ers, these are usually multi-week injuries. With left guard Andrus Peat sidelined with a broken arm, the Saints may be missing the left side of their high-end offensive line when they face the 49ers’ dominant pass rush in Week 14. Journeyman Patrick Omameh, whom the Giants cut after his short run as one of their guard starters, replaced Armstead on Sunday.

A lot of news affecting tackles around the league has emerged. Here is the latest:

  • Bryan Bulaga‘s knee injury appears to be a minor issue. The Packers‘ longtime right tackle left Sunday night’s game in San Francisco, but Rapoport notes (via Twitter) he is believed to be battling an MCL sprain instead of ACL trouble. Bulaga will likely miss some time but looks to be able to return this season.
  • As an Eagles season with Super Bowl aspirations veers closer to one of the more disappointing campaigns in recent NFL history, Philadelphia at least will likely have its Pro Bowl right tackle back this week. Lane Johnson expects to be cleared from concussion protocol on Tuesday, Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer tweets. Johnson missed Sunday’s loss against the Seahawks.
  • Vic Fangio appears ready to either bench underwhelming left tackle Garett Bolles or minimize his playing time. The Broncos’ first-year coach said Monday he’s going to shake up left tackle, Mike Klis of 9News tweets. This will be contingent on right tackle Ja’Wuan James‘ availability. Fangio said the seldom-seen free agent signing has been cleared from his latest injury, but it doesn’t look like James is a lock to return to action. He would likely play right tackle, with current right tackle Elijah Wilkinson shifting to the left side. If James returns, Bolles may be set for the first benching of his three-year career. The former first-round pick has not come especially close to living up to expectations, and the Broncos are unlikely to pick up his fifth-year option.
  • The Bears will be without their right tackle for a bit. Bobby Massie suffered a high ankle sprain against the Giants and will miss a few weeks, Rapoport tweets. This is Massie’s fourth season as Chicago’s starting right tackle; he re-signed this offseason on a four-year extension. Massie has only missed two games in his Bears tenure.
  • After their third straight 34-point game, the Jets are likely to have to again reconfigure their offensive line. Rookie right tackle Chuma Edoga suffered an MCL sprain, according to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News (on Twitter). Adam Gase confirmed the 2019 draftee is dealing with an MCL issue and is week-to-week. The Jets have made numerous changes on their offensive front this season. Benched right tackle Brandon Shell, who came in for Kelvin Beachum after he suffered an ankle malady Sunday, may be called upon to re-enter the lineup. Beachum suffered a sprained ankle but may not miss any time.

Injury Updates: Rams, Clowney, Brady

Rams wideout Brandin Cooks is set to return from the fifth known concussion of his six-year career. While the veteran has continually been sidelined by the dangerous head injury, he told reporters that his latest concussion didn’t make him consider retirement.

“Absolutely not,” Cooks told ESPN’s Lindsey Thiry. “When it happened, that never went through my mind. Even now, it’s not going through my mind.”

Cooks suffered a pair of concussions in a 25-day span, and he traveled to Pittsburgh twice to meet with the director of the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program. Following those meetings, Cooks felt comfortable returning to the field.

“One of the biggest things that I learned, concussions is a case-by-case thing,” said Cooks. “Mine was very unique, and just thankful once again to be able to go and get answers.”

Cooks won’t be the only Rams receiver returning to the lineup. Thiry writes that Robert Woods returned to practice this week after missing last week’s contest due to “personal issues.” The 6-4 Rams will take on the Ravens on Monday night.

Let’s check out some more injury notes from around the NFL…

  • Seahawks defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is a game-time decision after missing three practices this week due to a hip injury, tweets ESPN’s Brady Henderson. Coach Pete Carroll told reporters that Clowney didn’t travel with the team to Philadelphia as he gets his hip checked out. Clowney suffered the injury during Monday’s win over the 49ers. In his first season with Seattle, the 26-year-old has compiled 25 tackles, three sacks, and three forced fumbles.
  • The Eagles will be dealing with injuries of their own, as Lane Johnson is set to miss the matchup against Seattle. The veteran right tackle suffered a head injury during last weekend’s loss to the Patriots, and he remains in the concussion protocol. Rookie first-rounder Andre Dillard will slide into the starting lineup.
  • No surprise here, but NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets that Patriots quarterback Tom Brady will play vs. the Cowboys tomorrow. The 42-year-old was listed as questionable on the injury report thanks to an elbow injury. Brady hasn’t missed a game due to injury since the 2008 campaign.
  • Some good news on the Giants injury front: the team announced that wideout Sterling Shepard, cornerback Janoris Jenkins, and offensive lineman Nate Solder have all cleared concussion protocol and will play Sunday against the Bears. Jenkins and Solder both left the Giants’ Week 10 loss to the Jets, while Shepard hasn’t seen the field since Week 5.

Eagles Notes: Johnson, Ajayi, Mills

Let’s take a quick look at a few items from the City of Brotherly Love:

  • Eagles starting RT Lane Johnson is in the concussion protocol, as Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer tweets. Johnson suffered a head injury during Sunday’s loss to the Patriots, and while he tried to play through it, the injury worsened and he was ultimately forced to exit (Twitter link via McLane).
  • The Eagles can ill afford to lose Johnson, arguably the best right tackle in football, as they fight for the NFC East title. But if they are without Johnson for any period of time, they could turn to rookie Andre Dillard rather than veteran Halapoulivaati Vaitai, as McLane tweets.
  • Jay Ajayi finally found an NFL home for 2019 when he signed with the Eagles on Friday. Interestingly, the deal includes a right of first refusal for 2020, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. So if it wants, Philadelphia can match any offer Ajayi receives on the open market, which could be significant if the team lets Jordan Howard walk in free agency.
  • Cornerback Jalen Mills is eligible for free agency this offseason, and while he is not perfect, he has been very good since returning from injury in Week 7, and McLane says Mills may be playing his way into a second contract with the Eagles (Twitter link).
  • Eliot Shorr-Parks of 94WIP.com believes the Eagles need to completely overhaul their WR corps this offseason, and he offers a few names the club could target in free agency and the draft. He also says the Eagles could find a trade partner for Alshon Jeffery and/or DeSean Jackson, though obviously the returns on either player would be minimal.