Eagles right tackle Lane Johnson is “expected to try to play today” vs. Washington, according to an NFL Network report.
Johnson has been sidelined for close to three weeks with a right ankle injury that required surgery. He is listed as questionable on the injury report.
Even if Johnson does play, it is clear he won’t be 100%. While Johnson getting on the field would be a boost to an offensive line that needs it, having your Pro-Bowl offensive tackle push to play while injured in Week 1 is not a great way to start the season.
If Johnson plays, the Eagles’ offensive line should look like this, although it is possible that Nate Herbig either sees time or starts in place of Matt Pryor:
RT: Lane Johnson
RG: Matt Pryor
C: Jason Kelce
LG: Isaac Seumalo
LT: Jason Peters
The question is what will the Eagles do if Johnson goes down?
Their first choice would be to put Pryor in at right tackle, which is why there is a chance they simply start Herbig at right guard. Then, if Johnson were to have to leave the game, they could put Pryor in and not disrupt two spots along the line.
If Johnson does go down, here is a guess at how the line could look, with the top backup at each spot:
RT: Pryor (Jack Driscoll)
RG: Herbig (Sua Opeta or Pryor & put Driscoll at RT)
C: Kelce (Seumalo)
LG: Seumalo (Opeta)
LT: Peters (Jordan Mailata or Pryor & put Driscoll at RT)
The Eagles will be dressing eight offensive linemen no matter what, a rule in the NFL this year that allows teams to have two extra game-day roster spots. If Johnson plays the Eagles will likely dress nine, with Johnson as the ninth.
Sunday should be a good test for the Eagles’ offensive line as they will face a very talented Washington pass rush.
You can reach Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org!