Philadelphia Eagles right tackle Lane Johnson is facing a 10-game suspension for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs, according to Philadelphia sports radio personality Darren DeGaetano. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said that Johnson plans to appeal the suspension.
This is would not be Johnson’s first violation of the league’s PED policy. He also served a four-game suspension to start the 2014 season. Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Johnson denied reports that he’s facing a suspension, saying, "all was good."
Jay Glazer reported, after speaking to Johnson, that Johnson took an amino acid that is considered an approved substance, but tested positive for peptide, which is a class of hormones that includes human growth hormone and human chorionic gonadotropin. According to Glazer, Johnson is fighting the suspension, waiting on a second sample to be processed, and also addressing this with the manufacturer of the supplement.
Despite Johnson's comments to Glazer, Johnson's agent vehemently denied the suspension:
Statement from Ken Sarnoff, Lane Johnson's agent on reports that he faces a 10-game suspension for PED use: pic.twitter.com/ztVbyMgXPw— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) August 9, 2016
Johnson signed a contract extension with the Eagles this offseason that makes him the highest-paid right tackle in the NFL. Johnson received the five-year, $56.25 million deal in anticipation of an eventual move to replace Jason Peters at left tackle.
However, Peters continues to be held out of practice with a quad injury he suffered Thursday, and coach Doug Pederson has opted to have Matt Tobin fill in for Peters at left tackle throughout training camp, leaving Johnson on the right side.
"Well, we just want to make sure Lane is comfortable at the right [tackle] spot," Pederson said in a press conference Monday. "The other thing, with the tackles we have, [Matt] Tobin has done a nice job filling in over there. [We are] just giving him that opportunity there, as well. I think Tobin's having a great camp [and] really has stepped in. So we haven't felt the need, offensively, to move Lane over there at this time."
Johnson’s extension from the Eagles contains $35.5 million in guaranteed money, and it’s worth noting that a suspension would void all of it, according to ESPN’s Field Yates. Johnson can still earn that money, but it would no longer be guaranteed.