Lane Johnson Suspended 4 Games for Positive PED Test

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Lane Johnson Suspended 4 Games for Positive PED Test
Howard Smith/USA TODAY Sports

Updates from Friday, July 25

NJ.com's Eliot Shorr-Parks has updates on Johnson's status:

NJ.com's Matt Lombardo had more from Johnson:

"It's just something I've gotta deal with for four weeks and the toughest part is going to be not being able to be around here.

"I can't play, I can't practice, so I'm trying to find somewhere that I can train so I can come back and play well in week-five."

Updates from Wednesday, July 23

The Philadelphia Eagles confirmed Lane Johnson's four game suspension following a positive test for a performance enhancing substance.

Johnson addressed the news in a statement on the team website:

Johnson said the following: "In April while training, I mistakenly and foolishly put a prescribed medication in my body to help with a medical issue. I mistakenly failed to clear it with Eagles trainers and check the NFL list of banned substances. I am extremely sorry for this mistake and I will learn from it and be smarter in the future.

"I would like to sincerely apologize to Mr. Lurie, Howie Roseman, Coach Kelly and his staff, my teammates and our amazing Philadelphia Eagles fans. This will be very hard on me to not be battling with my teammates for four games - but I will be ready and better than ever when I return."

Original Text

Lane Johnson, an offensive lineman for the Philadelphia Eagles who was selected No. 4 overall in the 2013 NFL draft, has reportedly tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs and faces a four-game suspension to start the season.

Paul Domowitch of Philly.com reported the news on Johnson's positive test:

Albert Breer of NFL Network later confirmed the report:

Following the report, the NFL decided not to comment on the situation, per Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com:

Tim McManus of 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia continued:

Much of the Eagles' success last season was due to stellar quarterback play from Nick Foles. Johnson, in just his first year on the line, helped protect his young signal-caller and opened gaps for star running back LeSean McCoy to cut through in all 16 regular-season games, all of which he started. 

In fact, he was coming into the 2014 season with hopes of improving, as he told Sheil Kapadia of PhillyMag.com

"I'm trying to be a dominant player," Johnson said. "I know I have the ability. It's just a matter of being consistent with it because there's times where I showed flashes of being a really good player, and then there's other times where I didn't. So I'm just trying to be more consistent this year."

Despite having youth on the line with Johnson, the Eagles found consistency up front for Foles and McCoy. Bill Barnwell of Grantland provides a statistic from last year for Philadelphia:

As for a replacement for Johnson during the four-game stretch if he's indeed suspended, Aaron Nagler of Bleacher Report passes along a possible player to look for:

Can the Eagles still win the NFC East if Johnson is suspended four games?

Submit Vote vote to see results

Following a season in which the Eagles won the NFC East at 10-6 and returned to the postseason, Johnson's potential suspension could mean a step back for the team to start the upcoming campaign. During that stretch, the Eagles play the Indianapolis Colts and the San Francisco 49ers along with the division rival Washington Redskins.

Johnson's possible absence could loom large for an emerging star such as Foles, who may not have as much time in the pocket to find his targets down the field and avoid pressure off the edge.

If Johnson is suspended, the trickle-down effect might be huge for a franchise looking for consistency. In a division in which any team might step up and win it all, the Eagles need all cylinders firing to make another run in the NFC East.

 

Follow @RCorySmith on Twitter.

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