Eagles Injury Report: 6 Starters Trending, Update on Lane Johnson

Brandon Graham

Getty Eagles DE Brandon Graham tallied a career-high three sacks in one last year versus the Jets.

DeSean Jackson was back at practice after his scheduled “maintenance day.” So was All-Pro Fletcher Cox.

There were a ton of positive vibes permeating the Eagles’ injury report on Thursday, too. Starting running back Miles Sanders (hamstring) practiced in full for a second straight day, as did starting defensive end Derek Barnett (hamstring) and starting left tackle Jason Peters (knee). All three players seem likely to suit up against the Rams.

Wait, there’s more good news. Nose tackle Javon Hargrave (pectoral strain, hamstring) saw “limited” action and reps, along with defensive end Brandon Graham (concussion) who is almost through the league’s protocol for head injuries.

Remember, “limited” is better than not practicing at all. It means they are trending up. There is a growing feeling around the team that the Eagles’ top pass rusher will play. Hargrave? That one could be a game-time decision.

Ditto for right tackle Lane Johnson (ankle) who admitted he plans to start despite not being “100-percent.” Johnson had clean-up surgery — it’s called a “tightrope,” per The Inquirer’s Jeff McLane — to fix a high-ankle sprain from 2019. He re-injured it during the last live scrimmage of camp and the ankle swelled up on Johnson last week, but it should improve throughout the season. Meanwhile, Alshon Jeffery (foot) remains sidelined as he continues to rehab from Lisfranc surgery. The team hopes to have their lanky, possession receiver back for Week 3.

The Eagles activated two additional guards — Jamon Brown, Sua Opeta — earlier this week as an insurance policy for their banged-up offensive line. They’ll need the depth and experience since those important behemoths up front are always at a “premium” late in the year.

“But this gives us O-line protection, especially the later you get in the season when offensive lineman become kind of a premium around the league,” said head coach Doug Pederson. “It protects us that way to have these guys on your 53.”

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Shuffling the Offensive Line Around Again

Johnson’s return should bolster an offensive line that gave up eight sacks and watched Carson Wentz get hit 14 times. It wasn’t all their fault, let’s be honest. Wentz sat back in the pocket for long periods of time, while chucking two interceptions and missing a few throws. Johnson was forced to watch everything from the sideline in Washington.

“I gotta pretty nice tan, and got my bald head nice and burned,” Johnson said, via the Delaware News Journal. “Really, a tale of two halves. Just not executing as far as offense, we gotta click better. There’s really no excuse. All the wrongs we did on Sunday, we can make it up this Sunday.”

The Eagles should have close to what they expected their offensive line to look like in Week 2. Minus Brandon Brooks, of course. The starters should be Jason Peters (left tackle), Isaac Seumalo (left guard), Jason Kelce (center), Nate Herbig (right guard), Lane Johnson (right tackle). The big man in the middle keeps it all together.

“I think Jason Kelce has been one of the best centers in this league for a long time,” Rams coach Sean McVay said. “I think he’s a Hall of Fame-caliber player.”

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