Arbitrator upholds Johnson suspension
The other shoe has dropped on Eagles right offensive tackle Lane Johnson, whose 10-game suspension for violating the NFL policy on performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) was upheld by an arbitrator.
An NFL spokesperson said the suspension begins immediately and that Johnson is eligible to return to the Eagles’ active roster Monday, Dec. 19. The Eagles host the New York Giants that Thursday.
Johnson could not immediately be reached for comment. The Eagles released a statement from vice president of football operations Howie Roseman.
“We’re very disappointed that Lane Johnson has been suspended 10 games,” Roseman said in the statement. “His actions have affected the entire organization. We are all working under a clearly defined set of rules and regulations set forth by the NFL in the collective bargaining agreement with the NFLPA. Moving forward, he has no choice but to hold himself accountable to Jeffrey Lurie, Coach (Doug) Pederson and his staff, his teammates, and to the entire organization and our fans. When he returns from suspension, we will continue to support him and welcome him back to the team. We are moving on with our preparations for this week’s game in Washington.”
Johnson could not be reached for comment. He has maintained that he took a supplement approved by the league yet tainted with an illegal substance not listed among the ingredients.
It’s the second offense of the PEDs policy by Johnson, who was suspended four games in 2014. If Johnson violates the policy again, he faces a two-year suspension.
Prior to the season Johnson signed a five-year, $56.2 million contract with $35.5 million guaranteed. The guaranteed money is in jeopardy.
Pederson said he could roll with rookie fifth-round pick Hal Vaitai at right tackle, or move Allen Barbre to right tackle and play Stefen Wisniewski or rookie Isaac Seumalo at left guard.
The Eagles (3-1), fresh off a bitter one-point loss in Detroit, play three of their next four games on the road beginning Sunday in Washington (32). All of those road starts are against NFC East opposition.
Eagles right tackle Lane Johnson has been suspended for 10 games by the NFL for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. He’ll be eligible to return Dec. 19. It’s his second suspension.