Philadelphia Eagles offensive tackle Lane Johnson had established himself as one of the better offensive lineman in the NFL ever since he came into the league from Oklahoma as the fourth overall pick in the 2013 draft. In fact, his play had earned him a six-year contract extension last offseason.
However, 2016 has been a rocky year for Johnson as he was suspended 10 games by the NFL for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy. On Thursday night, Johnson gets back on the field for the first time since that suspension as the Eagles host the New York Giants.
Having the former Groveton High standout back in the lineup is a welcome sight for the Eagles as the offensive line has been banged up all season. In fact, this would be the first week that the Eagles have a chance to have all five starting offensive lineman in the lineup since Week 4.
Even though Philadelphia is out of the playoff hunt, Thursday provides the Eagles with an opportunity to wash away the struggles of a five-game losing streak and a 2-8 record since Johnson’s suspension. The Eagles are also looking towards Johnson to spark the offense, where the offensive production dropped dramatically from 29 points in the first four games to 20 points in his absence.
It also gives them an opportunity to impact the NFC playoff picture as a win over the Giants would give the Dallas Cowboys the division title in the NFC East and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
Earlier this week, Johnson told CSN Philly that the suspension “weighs on my mind all the time.” He knows that one more suspension would essentially end his time in Philadelphia and he’s ready to move forward and focus on finishing the season strong. The game kicks off at 7:25 p.m. CST from Lincoln Financial Field.
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