Lane Johnson will start opener if he's not suspended by then

Lane Johnson still has not been levied the 10-game suspension he's expecting for using a banned supplement. While waiting for the results of Johnson's B sample and the NFL's official ruling, the Eagles are left planning for the possibility that Johnson could be available in Week 1.

If there's no suspension by Sept. 11, coach Doug Pederson said he would start Johnson at right tackle.

"This is something that we wrestle with every day," Pederson said. "I'll tell you this: If he's ready to go, then he's our guy. You just go with that, because he's got plenty of reps in training camp. . . . But we've got to cover all our bases one way or the other and just have a plan when we get to that point."

The Eagles have spent the last two weeks playing Allen Barbre at first-team right tackle and Isaac Seumalo and Stefen Wisniewski both at first-team left guard. If Johnson is in the lineup, Barbre would go back to left guard.


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Regardless, Johnson is expected to play in Thursday's preseason finale.

From the Soul to the Eagles

The Eagles signed Soul defensive end Jake Metz, giving the Arena Football League standout a chance to play in the NFL on Thursday.

Metz, 25, is 6-foot-6, weighs 265 pounds, and played college football at Shippensburg and high school football at Souderton. He grew up rooting for the Eagles and joined the Soul in 2015. He led the Soul with eight sacks on its run to the arena championship.

Metz, who practiced on Tuesday, is expecting to play on Thursday. He said there will be a big fan contingent at Lincoln Financial Field cheering him on, prompting the joke that there was a surge in ticket sales after his signing.

The Eagles also claimed defensive tackle Bruce Gaston off waivers from the San Diego Chargers. Gaston, 24, has been with seven franchises since going undrafted out of Purdue in 2014.

Standing for the anthem

Doug Pederson discussed standing for the national anthem with the Eagles this week after San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick sat last week to protest racial injustice in the country. He encouraged players to stand.

"I don't necessarily have a policy, per se," Pederson said. "I can appreciate everybody's opinions and I respect everybody's opinions, but at the same time, I feel that it is important and it's obviously out of respect for the men and women of our country that sacrifice in order for us to coach and play this great game."

Rookie linebacker Myke Tavarres told ESPN he planned on sitting before changing his mind after the article was published online. Tavarres did not comment Tuesday, but safety Malcolm Jenkins spoke with Tavarres several times about it.

"I think the announcement of him deciding to sit was probably premature," Jenkins said. "He's a young player that sees what's going on in America, who sees all of the issues and wants to do something. I think from that standpoint, I totally agree with what he wants to do. Now, how he chooses to convey that or get that message out there is completely up to him.

"I've spoken to him multiple times and I have his back with whatever he wants to do. Because at the end of the day, the issues are the issues. If somebody else gets offended, then that's fine because the things that he's standing for are just as egregious."

Hall of Famers

The Eagles announced that linebacker Jeremiah Trotter and play-by-play announcer Merrill Reese will be inducted into the team's Hall of Fame at halftime of the Nov. 28 game against the Green Bay Packers.