By Steve Kelly
Everybody knows what the Elephant in the Room was after last night’s Eagles’ victory over Tampa Bay:
Dumb-o right tackle Lane Johnson, who is almost as big as an elephant and just as brained-addled since he is facing his second PED suspension, this time 10 games.
There’s still no official word on Johnson.
But Eagles coach Doug Pederson acknowledged the possibility after last night’s preseason opener, knowing there’s a chance he’s going to have to go without a guy they invested heavily in and had big plans for.
“It would be smart on my part to have a Plan B if that’s the case,” Pederson said. “I’ll visit with [offensive line coach Jeff] Stoutland this week, and we’ll evaluate where we need to go from here. If that’s the case, if it’s upheld, then we’ve gotta be prepared to make some moves. Until it happens, we go full-steam. But the same time, we also know we’ve got to be smart about it to have people ready to go if it is upheld.”
That’s as close to an admission on such a topic as you’re ever going to get from a coach that something’s amiss, as Johnson has denied wrongdoing. Johnson didn’t talk to reporters last night after the game.
Pederson said he didn’t know the time frame for a league decision, and said he hasn’t talked about it with Johnson either.
But there’s also the small matter of replacing him, and pondering a future which includes oft-injured left tackle Jason Peters. But Pederson said he wasn’t ready to look outside the organization for help.
“We’ve got the bodies,” he said. “We’ve got the guys that can definitely fill that role.”
But considering the struggles of the Eagles’ second line (Chase Daniel was sacked four times in what amounted to a quarter of action), delving too deeply there creates a problem of its own.