Right Tackle Lane Johnson is in the news once more and it, as the pattern has become, isn’t good news; and maybe it was a mistake to expect anything better. Forget about the NFL Betting lines, all anyone can talk about is Lane’s suspension.
The NFL decided to uphold the Philadelphia Right Tackle’s 10-game suspension. Lane fell afoul of the League’s performance-enhancing drug policy several months ago, and it looks like he will pay dearly for his mistake.
The announcement came on Tuesday; the NFL refused to give Lane a reprieve. This suspension is expected to start immediately. When Johnson tested positive for a banned substance, some people probably thought that he could slip away with little more than a slap on the wrist.
And they might have been right if Johnson hadn’t already fallen foul of the performance-enhancement drug policy. This is merely the second infraction of his four-year NFL career.
Talk of the 10-game suspension has been swirling for quite a while. When it was finally confirmed, Lane tried to appeal the ruling last week. Arbitrator James Carter refused to revoke the sentence, and neither was he interested in reducing it.
A ten-game suspension is substantial. It means that Johnson will have to sit out ten games without pay until December 22nd when the team takes on the New York Giants. Not only is he unable to play with his team during his suspension but he is also forbidden to practice.
Eagles vice president of football operations Howie Roseman admitted that he was disappointed by the ruling. He also didn’t mince his words about Lane, admitting that the Right Tackle’s actions would have a drastic impact on the entire organization.
He didn’t defend Lane who clearly broke the rules set forth by the NFL, which isn’t really a surprise; what Vice president would defend his player’s right to use performance-enhancing tools?
Johnson has hesitated to admit any real fault for his actions. According to Johnson, he took the substance in question at a time when he thought it was approved by the NFL. All players have an Aegis Shield phone application that guides them through the minefield of banned and accepted supplements.
Johnson claims that he checked the application before using the substance that triggered a positive test; however, Johnson’s excuse didn’t really work in his favor because the Aegis application comes with a disclaimer where it is stated that products are not tested and it is up to players to thoroughly investigate the supplements they use.
The NFLPA told Johnson that, regardless of the failures of the Aegis Application, Johnson is still liable for ingesting the illegal substance. Johnson cannot afford to test positive for another performance-enhancing drug.
A third infraction would attract a two-year suspension. Johnson was, as expected, disappointed with the ruling. Everyone knows Johnson as one of the best tackles in the NFL, and that reputation might suffer as a result of his sentence.
It isn’t like the Eagles are lost without him, though; they have various options to consider, this including Allen Barber and Stefen Wisniewski. They will survive until he makes his return.