John­son presents his ap­peal, awaits ar­bi­tra­tor’s rul­ing

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SPORTS - By Bob Grotz bgrotz@21st-cen­tu­ry­ @BobGrotz on Twit­ter

PHILADEL­PHIA » Lane John­son is await­ing a de­ci­sion after ap­peal­ing his 10-game sus­pen­sion for PEDs in front of an ar­bi­tra­tor Tues­day.

The big of­fen­sive tackle prac­ticed Mon­day and the Ea­gles an­tic­i­pate he’ll be in the lineup Sun­day when they op­pose the Lions in Detroit.

The Ea­gles also have con­tin­gency plans in case a de­ci­sion is ren­dered be­fore the week­end.

Ini­tially head coach Doug Ped­er­son wanted to roll with Allen Bar­bre at right tackle and start rookie Isaac Seu­malo at left guard. A pec­toral in­jury to Seu­malo stalled that fix al­though Seu­malo prac­ticed Mon­day and said he could do what­ever the Ea­gles wanted him to do.

Ped­er­son then said vet­eran Ste­fen Wis­niewski would be the left guard.

Dur­ing John­son’s hear­ing, ESPN’s Ed Werder said the Ea­gles are con­sid­er­ing play­ing with rookie firstround draft pick Halapouli­vaati Vaitai at right tackle. The 6-6, 315-pound prod­uct of TCU has been in­ac­tive the first three games.

“You’ve got to be ready just in case some­thing hap­pens,” said Ea­gles vet­eran right guard Bran­don Brooks. “(Bar­bre) has played right tackle be­fore. I have faith in him, con­fi­dence in him. You’ve got to do what’s best for ev­ery­body, though.”

John­son was sus­pended the first four games of the 2014 sea­son for PEDs. Un­less he wins the ap­peal, a third of­fense could re­sult in a one-year sus­pen­sion from the league. ••• The ref­eree for Ea­gles-Lions this Sun­day at Ford Field is Pete Morelli.

Un­less, that is, he’s sus­pended.

Morelli left his sta­dium mi­cro­phone on dur­ing a time­out in the Bills’ 16-0 win over the Pa­tri­ots at Gil­lette Sta­dium.

Per re­ports, Morelli said to an of­fi­cial on his crew and said, “Turned into a pretty good game. But one big hit, this s--- could ex­plode.”

Oops. It did just that over the mi­cro­phone.

The NFL sus­pended of­fi­cial Roy El­li­son for us­ing an in-game ob­scen­ity at Wash­ing­ton of­fen­sive line­man Trent Wil­liams in 2013.

••• The Ea­gles were hum­bled by the Lions at Ford Field last Thanks­giv­ing.

Matt Stafford threw for 337 yards and five TDs to spark the Lions to a 45-14 win over Mark Sanchez and the Ea­gles.

That was rookie sec­on­dround draft pick Eric Rowe’s first real ac­tion at cor­ner­back. And ba­si­cally it was the rea­son cur­rent de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Jim Schwartz had no prob­lem mov­ing on from Rowe.

The Lions (1-3) have won two of the last three games in the se­ries.

••• NOTES » The foot­ball field at Mi­ami (Ohio) is named after Ben Roeth­lis­berger, who do­nated money to the school.

The meet­ing room for of­fen­sive line­men there is named after … Ea­gles guard Bran­don Brooks? “It was some­thing small I could do,” Brooks said. He played for the Red­hawks from 2008-2011. His name also has been placed on a locker in the locker room . ... With three sacks each, Fletcher Cox and Bran­don Graham are in the top 20 in the NFL de­spite play­ing in just three games. Kerry Hy­der of the Lions is sec­ond in the league with five sacks.

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