Lane Johnson missed a third straight practice on Friday (Oct. 8) due to an ongoing “personal matter.” Philadelphia Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni has officially ruled him out for Week 5.
The Pro Bowl right tackle hasn’t spoken publicly on the matter, with scant details on what exactly is wrong. Sirianni has repeatedly stressed the importance of respecting Johnson’s privacy when asked about it. Fair enough, although the rumor mill is ripe with everything from a death in the family to a substance-abuse problem. We won’t speculate on any of that in this space. For our purposes, Johnson is out of the starting lineup.
“He’s still dealing with a personal matter,” Sirianni said. “Really not going to go any more further into that, I’m still going to respect his privacy. But he is not here today.”
According to John Clark of NBC Sports, Johnson did report to the Eagles’ practice facility to meet with teammates. The team’s head of security escorted him back to Philadelphia from Oklahoma. The issue has nothing to do with football.
“Everyone got their own problems, I got my own problems,” defensive tackle Fletcher Cox said. “I think the team, the organization, they do a good job of having people that they keep confidential about who’s helping who. I think the NFL does a great job at it, and everybody’s got their own problems, it’s just how you deal with it.”
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Jordan Mailata Cleared, Darius Slay Returns
Johnson was the only player ruled out on the Eagles’ final practice/injury report. Jordan Mailata (knee) was a full participant and the 365-pounder has been cleared to suit up in Week 5. There’s a chance he could start at right tackle with Johnson out, with the team leaving Andre Dillard at left tackle.
Sirianni wouldn’t divulge the plan along the offensive line for fear of ruining his “competitive advantage.” Landon Dickerson would stay at left guard and Nate Herbig at right guard in that scenario. One other option at the tackle spot is Le’Raven Clark.
Meanwhile, Pro Bowl cornerback Darius Slay was back at practice on Friday (Oct. 8) after sitting out due to his own personal matter the day before. Turns out, he took the day off to be with his wife and welcome the arrival of their newest child, Desmond Demetrius. Congratulations to the Slay family!
Carolina Panthers Star ‘Doubtful’ to Play
The Eagles might be catching a break after the Carolina Panthers listed Christian McCaffrey “doubtful” to play in Week 5. The star running back had practiced for three straight days in a limited capacity, fueling hope that he would play against Philadelphia. However, McCaffrey’s hamstring must not be 100-percent and he appears destined for the bench for the second week in a row.
“Nothing much more to add,” Panthers head coach Matt Rhule said, via ESPN. “He’s been going. It’s doubtful he’ll play on Sunday. That could change. I’m not going to play any games.”
Rookie Chuba Hubbard would replace McCaffrey if he can’t go. The Panthers also ruled out left tackle Cam Erving (neck) and linebacker Shaq Thompson (foot) for Sunday’s game (Oct. 10).