Johnson presents his appeal, awaits arbitrator’s ruling
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.