By Tom Brennan
Yes, I know.
Lane Johnson has been an exceptional right tackle after he arrived from Texas by way of Oklahoma back in 2013.
That means he’s 30, which in the NFL, means Not For Long.
And his body is betraying him.
Which is why he announced yesterday that he’s going to have season-ending surgery on an ankle that has plagued him for much of the last two seasons.
Johnson has only played two full games this season and has missed three others.
“It’s been difficult trying to play at a high level, really the anxiety of the whole process,” Johnson said. “It’s part of the game. It’s something I knew I’d struggle with throughout the year. It hadn’t improved much, so with the outlook of my season, it’s done.”
Johnson said the surgery hasn’t been scheduled yet, but it will be a four to five month recovery process.
But that wasn’t the only change on the offensive line. There was a report Friday morning that Jason Peters, 38, would be moving from left tackle to right guard. Johnson confirmed that when he spoke to the media, saying also that Matt Pryor would play right tackle in his place.
Peters, a likely Hall of Famer, has struggled so far this season at left tackle. He was beaten for three sacks last Sunday in the Eagles’ 22-17 loss to Cleveland. Jordan Mailata, who started four games earlier this season in Peters’ place when Peters had a toe injury, will take over there once again.
When the Eagles face the Seattle Seahawks on Monday, it will be their 10th different offensive line combination in 11 games.
“It’s been an awkward year,” Johnson said. “We line up in the beginning of the year and have what you think is going to be that the rest of the year … There’s nothing you can really substitute for that (lack of continuity). Moving forward, the game always goes on. These guys will continue to grow. (Center Jason) Kelce’s out there leading them. He’s dealing with some stuff, too. He’s just a warrior. He’s got to keep leading the troops.”
Johnson had surgery on his ankle in August, called a tightrope surgery, to fuse the bones in his ankle together. He said that helped to some extent, but he had continued to get rolled up on his ankle.
“Essentially from all the high-ankle sprains and damage I’ve had done to my ankle, it’s really repairing the deltoid ligament. The inside of my ankle has collapsed. So a lot of my power and push-off that I normally have isn’t there,” he said.