Injured Eagles Starter Delivers Promising ‘Next Step’ Update

Lane Johnson, Jalen Hurts

Getty Eagles right tackle Lane Johnson and quarterback Jalen Hurts were snubbed for the 2021 Pro Bowl.

Philadelphia Eagles starting right tackle Lane Johnson is aiming for a playoff return after suffering a torn abductor on Christmas Eve. He sat out the final two regular-season games, but all indications are he’s trending in the right direction.

Johnson, a four-time Pro Bowler, took to Twitter to provide an update on his status in a WWE-style promo where he slings the Golden Title over his shoulder. Johnson delivers a fiery 49-second speech from his famed Bro Barn gym and reminds everyone that the playoffs go through Philadelphia. He also drops an interesting nugget about MRIs and waiting for results.

The 32-year-old said: “What the hell are you doing here in my house? You think you can just walk over and skip steps and do whatever you want? Philadelphia Eagles, 14-3, NFC Esat champs, bye week, big playoff game — result, result, result, result.

“But, people forget the process, the steps, the next step, the next step, much like when you get an MRI, sometimes you have to wait on the result before you tweet it out to the world for something that’s not meant to be true. The playoffs come through Philadelphia but the WWE Golden Title, it comes through me.”

Johnson has never hidden his affection for professional wrestling over the years. He’s posed for pictures and jumped on podcasts with Stone Cold Steve Austin and others. Perhaps, after his football career is done, he’ll pursue a role in the ring.

Meanwhile, the WWE will be hosting the 30th anniversary of Monday Night Raw at Wells Fargo Center on January 23. The event came to Philly in January 2018, when John Cena — a passionate Boston sports fan — recited the Eagles fight song to the delight of the crowd. The Eagles beat Cena’s New England Patriots in the Super Bowl a week later.

Jack Driscoll Earns Praise, Johnson’s Presence Missed

Johnson is arguably the most important chess piece on the board for one of the NFL’s most dominant offensive lines. Look beyond the Pro Bowls and towering, ripped physique, and turn on the tape. No one beats Johnson 1-on-1 on an island, including Cowboys stud Micah Parsons. He is the best right tackle in football, according to teammate Jason Kelce.

“He’s been the best pass-blocking right tackle for some time now,” Kelce told Audacy’s SportsRadio 94WIP. “There’s really not anybody through the past decade that’s even in his stratosphere other than maybe Mitchell Schwartz. He’s a leader so other guys gravitate toward him before the game, during the game, and afterward.”

Jack Driscoll has been holding it down at right tackle in Johnson’s absence. He earned a 74.6 pass-blocking grade against the New York Giants in Week 18 — the lowest number of the starting group but a respectable one — for a unit that surrendered only three quarterback hurries on 42 pass-blocking snaps, per Pro Football Focus.

Pro Football Focus Names ‘Best Offensive Lineman’

Pro Football Focus handed out its annual awards earlier this week. The Philadelphia Eagles were named the Best Team Offensive Line, with the website crediting all five starters: “there was nothing approaching a weak link.” Johnson was named Best Pass Blocker and Best Offensive Lineman. Here is what they wrote:

The last time Lane Johnson gave up a sack, Donald Trump was still president and the U.K. still had a queen, not a king. He allowed nine total pressures this season across 551 pass-blocking snaps despite having one of the hardest roles in the league in terms of schematic help.

Johnson is the gold standard for pass blocking, particularly at right tackle, and his absence for the final two games of the regular season made a notable difference for the Eagles’ offense.

Additionally, the Eagles had five players selected to Pro Football Focus’ All-Pro Team: RT Lane Johnson, LB T.J. Edwards made the first team, while C Jason Kelce, WR A.J. Brown, CB James Bradberry made the second team.

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