Next man up. Again. The Eagles are down another starter in their makeshift offensive line after Lane Johnson was carted off the field late in the third quarter. The starting right tackle had been dealing with an ankle injury all year but kept playing through the pain.
Johnson appeared to re-aggravate his surgically-repaired left ankle during the Eagles’ disappointing 38-29 loss. Remember, the All-Pro tackle had a clean-up procedure on it in August and underwent “tightrope” surgery. He admitted the ailment was going to bother him throughout the 2020 campaign.
“I won’t be 100 percent, but I’ll be able to play,” Johnson told reporters on Sept. 18. “As long as I’m not feeling pain, I just gotta get my [practice] reps, get out there, get some game action, and then I think I’ll be fine. Just have to deal with the swelling; that’s really the main issue.”
Head coach Doug Pederson added that Johnson’s injury was going to “linger” all year when he addresses the media on Sept. 19.
“Listen, it’s going to linger,” Pederson told reporters on Monday. “We’re at that point now where everybody’s body is sore and the injuries that we have, they’re going to continue. I mean, you’re not going to get 100-percent healthy. There’s no way. We just don’t have time to get everybody 100-percent. It’s just the nature of the game. He’s a tough kid, he plays through it, and he’s going to have to continue playing through it the rest of the year.”
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Rookie Jack Driscoll Takes Over at RT
With Johnson out, the Eagles once again turned to rookie swing tackle Jack Driscoll who started at right tackle in Week 1. He has seen 79 total offensive snaps this year, including 50 in the season opener.
Philly took Driscoll in the fourth round (145th overall) out of Auburn with the intention he could fill-in at either guard or tackle. After an impressive training camp, they threw the rookie out against Washington and have been using him as an extra blocker in their “Jumbo” package. Driscoll has shown he can play.
“I’m just doing all I can to learn as much as I can and be able to play multiple positions but I’m playing a lot of tackle right now, on the right side,” Driscoll said early in camp. “I played right tackle all four years in college predominantly, like I said, my goal is to play as many positions as possible and help the team win games.”
Travis Fulgham Breaks Out (Again)
Meanwhile, a star is born at wide receiver in Philadelphia after Travis Fulgham’s coming-out party. The ex-Lions practice squad player busted loose against Pittsburgh on 10 catches for 152 yards and a touchdown. He every bit looked the part of Alshon Jeffery.
Fulgham’s 152 receiving yards were the third-most by an Eagles receiver dating back to 2016, behind Jeffery and DeSean Jackson. He was the hero of last week’s season-saving win when he hauled in a 42-yard bomb for a touchdown.
Miles Sanders also rushed in two scores for the Birds versus Pittsburgh in the first half. The two touchdowns were a new single-game career high for the second-year running back.
Here are some key stats and milestones for Fulgham, per the team’s website:
Fulgham’s 209 receiving yards lead the Eagles in 2020. He’s the first Eagle to record 10 receptions in a game since tight end Zach Ertz last November against the Seahawks.
He’s the first Eagle with 150 receiving yards since DeSean Jackson in the 2019 season opener against Washington.
And he’s the first Eagles wide receiver with 100 receiving yards in a game since Alshon Jeffery last December in Miami.
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