Lane Johnson’s season ended on Friday and Jason Peters will be moving from left tackle to right guard.
It was just another day in the life of the Eagles’ offensive line, which will use its 10th different starting lineup when the Seattle Seahawks visit Lincoln Financial Field on Monday night.
Johnson said during a videoconference that he is done for the year and will soon have a second surgery on his troubled left ankle.
“It’s been difficult trying to play at a high level, really the anxiety of the whole process,” said the Eagles’ Pro Bowl right tackle on the day after Thanksgiving. “It’s part of the game. It’s something I knew I’d struggle with throughout the year. It hadn’t improved much, so with the outlook of my season, it’s done.”
Johnson said he is looking at a four- to five-month recovery period.
He had “tightrope” surgery in August to try to return from a high ankle sprain quicker, but that didn’t help. It sounds as if it only made things worse.
“It was my decision,” said Johnson about the summer surgery. “I wanted to come back and play. As far as rehab, we have done everything we could. There were times we were making a lot of really good progress and there were some games where it got rolled up again.
“It’s something you can’t control. It’s been frustrating, but I just want to get back to 100 percent and not think about, play ball and move on from there, which has been difficult for me this year.”
His next surgery will be to repair the deltoid ligament, he said, noting that the inside of his ankle has collapsed, which has robbed him of his push-off. It hasn’t helped that in the games he has played, that the ankle has been rolled on at times.
Johnson was replaced by rookie Jack Driscoll in two of the game he could not start but said that it will be Matt Pryor who takes over for him.
With Pryor moving to right tackle, the Eagles had a need at Pryor’s old spot, right guard.
That’s where Peters comes in.
Peters was the Eagles’ summertime plan after bringing him back on July 14 on a one-year deal to replace Brandon Brooks, who ruptured an Achilles in June.
The deal grew sweeter after Andre Dillard tore a biceps muscle in late August and the team moved him back to left tackle, paying him millions more in order to move to the higher-profile position of protecting quarterback Carson Wentz’s blindside.
The move was first reported by NBC Sports Philadelphia’s John Clark.
Moving Brooks will allow the Eagles to plug Jordan Mailata back in at left tackle.
Mailata, a seventh-round pick in 2018, made five starts, including the first four of his career at left tackle when Peters was on Injured Reserve with a toe injury. He also started a game at right tackle when Johnson woke up on game day against the Dallas Cowboys with swelling in his ankle.
“For the younger players, it all comes down to experience,” said Johnson. “The more Jordan’s played, the better he has gotten. Pryor, the more times he’s stayed at a spot, he’s better on the right side than he is on the left, but it’s just a matter of playing and getting those games under your belt.
“There’s nothing you can really substitute for that. Moving forward, the game always goes on. These guys will continue to grow. (Center Jason) Kelce’s out there leading them. He’s dealing with some stuff, too. He’s just a warrior. He’s got to keep leading the troops.”
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