Lane Johnson Updates Status, Eagles RT Explains ‘Tightrope’ Surgery

Lane Johnson

Getty Eagles tackle Lane Johnson always seems to find himself at the center of controversy with his words.

Lane Johnson was already coming off two high-ankle sprains, then he tweaked it again in a live scrimmage this summer.

The Eagles’ starting right tackle decided to get elective surgery in late August in what was deemed a “clean-up” procedure. Johnson explained the details of that operation on a Zoom call with Philly reporters on Thursday while declaring himself ready to go for Week 2. He won’t be a 100-percent but even half of the Pro Bowler will be a huge boon to the offensive line. He’s “fired up” to play.

“I won’t be 100 percent, but I’ll be able to play,” Johnson told reporters. “I’m just fired up to play and fired up to be around my guys. I’m just glad to be out there on the field, and so that’s really my main focus and get a win.”

Johnson initially hurt his left ankle back in 2018, then sprained the MCL in his left knee. Insult to injury. The reliable veteran suffered another high-ankle sprain last year in a Week 14 win over the Giants. He missed the final three games of the regular season, plus the wild-card playoff loss to Seattle. Feeling constant discomfort, Johnson chose to undergo “tightrope” surgery last month.

It’s an innovative procedure where surgeons drill across two bones, tibia and fibula, and place a heavy non-absorbable suture at either end to hold the bones close together. Sounds painful but it should fix any lingering damage.

Tua Tagovailoa famously had the surgery done in 2019 and won a playoff game 28 days later. So did Eagles second-round pick Jalen Hurts when he was at Alabama in 2019. He returned a month after the procedure without skipping a beat.

“All you have to do is gain back the strength, appropriate extension in that leg. It’s getting a lot stronger,” Johnson said. “Something [the surgery] that finally got addressed, got taken care of and now, so I think it’ll only get better as the season goes on.”

Follow the Heavy on Eagles Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!

Nate Herbig Looking to Stick at Right Guard

Doug Pederson raised some eyebrows when he told reporters that the starting right guard spot is “Nate’s job right now,” referring to second-year man Nate Herbig. Not a ringing endorsement if you read between the lines. However, a job is a job and jobs are hard to come by these days. Harder yet in the NFL.

The 22-year-old was forced into a starting role in Week 1 after only seeing three total snaps as an undrafted rookie in 2019. It was a tall task for the 6-foot-4, 334-pounder from Hawaii. And Herbig fared fairly well and earned an overall grade of 60.4 from Pro Football Focus — 77.4 in pass-protection, 49.3 in run-blocking.

“I thought Nate did well,” Pederson said. “Wasn’t perfect, but for his first start, he’s a smart guy, and he graded well.”

Now Herbig is set to start for a second straight week, this time lining up next to Lane Johnson on the right side and not rookie Jack Driscoll. There should be some built-in chemistry there since Herbig and Johnson worked out together during the offseason.

“Obviously, I feel like that will elevate my game,” Herbig said. “He’s one of the best in the business.”

Follow the Heavy on Eagles Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!

READ NEXT: Browns Top Pick Jedrick Wills Reveals New Jersey Number