The Philadelphia Eagles first round pick(4th overall) from last year has officially been suspended by the NFL for violating the league's PED policy. The news broke three weeks ago, and there was speculation among fans and media as to why it was still not confirmed by the league. Johnson was most likely still in the middle of the appeals process when the news leaked, but the appeals are now concluded.
#Eagles Lane Johnson has been suspended for the first 4 games of 2014 for violating the NFL policy on performance enhancing substances.— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) July 23, 2014
The Eagles will be without their starting RT for the first four games of the season. In those four weeks they play the Jaguars, Colts, Redskins, and 49ers. The loss is significant to the Redskins and Ryan Kerrigan in particular. The Eagles most likely replace Johnson with veteran backup Allen Barbre who was signed to a 3 year extension last month. Barbre is their go to guy at backup and would be the first one into the lineup if there was an injury on gamedays. Philly.com had a breakdown on whether the Eagle's OL can get by with him in the lineup in place of Johnson recently.
Eagles team statement:
"We're very disappointed to learn of his suspension. We have spoken to Lane about the details of the suspension. He understood what he did wrong and took full responsibility. The key for him, however, is to learn from that mistake and move forward with his preparation for the 2014 season."
Lane Johnson statement:
"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."