Thursday, December 25, 2014

Source: Lane Johnson tests positive for PED, faces 4-game suspension

Eagles right tackle Lane Johnson tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug and faces a four-game suspension, according to a league source.

Source: Lane Johnson tests positive for PED, faces 4-game suspension

Eagles rookie offensive lineman Lane Johnson. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)
Eagles rookie offensive lineman Lane Johnson. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

Eagles right tackle Lane Johnson tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug and faces a four-game suspension, according to a league source. The NFL had no suspension to announce, and the Eagles had no comment on the situation.

The Philadelphia Daily News first reported the positive test.

Johnson, 24, was the Eagles’ first-round pick in 2013 and started all 16 games for the team last season. He added seven pounds this offseason, bulking up from 310 pounds to 317 pounds, and the Eagles were optimistic about Johnson’s development.

If Johnson is suspended, he becomes the second Eagles player to miss four games because of PEDs this offseason. Linebacker Jake Knott received his suspension in April. Suspended players are eligible to participate in training camp and the preseason.

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Johnson is due $495,000 this season. A suspension would cost him four game checks – a total of $116,470.

It would also hurt the Eagles’ offense line, which benefited from remarkable stability last season. All five linemen started every game last season for the first time since 2006. They helped pave the way for running back LeSean McCoy’s league-leading 1,607 rushing yards.

Johnson’s backup is Allen Barbre. The Eagles gave Barbre a three-year contract extension last month.

After Barbre, the Eagles don't have much experience at tackle. Dennis Kelly started 10 games in 2012, but he did not get into a game last season. The team is high on second-year lineman Matt Tobin, and Michael Bamiro spent all of last season developing on the practice squad. During the offseason, the Eagles signed veteran Andrew Gardner, who played eight games during four seasons with two teams; and undrafted tackle Kevin Graf.

 zberman@phillynews.com

@ZBerm

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Birds' Eye View is the Inquirer's blog covering all things Philadelphia Eagles and the NFL.

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