Johnson practicing with Eagles, nears return after concussion


Lane Johnson remains in concussion protocol, Nick Sirianni said Wednesday, but the three-time Pro Bowl right tackle was participating in practice Wednesday afternoon, a sign that he’s in the fourth and final phase of the NFL’s concussion protocol.

Johnson has been in protocol since suffering a head injury in the Eagles’ game against the Cowboys 10 days ago.

Phase 4 of the NFL’s concussion protocol allows players to participate in non-contact team football activities. If Johnson comes through practice without experiencing any concussion-related symptoms, he would see an independent neurologist, who would then be expected to then clear Johnson to play.

Sirianni said earlier in the day he was hopeful everybody on the team would be available for the Steelers game.

Johnson, 32, got hurt late in the second quarter of the Cowboys game at the Linc on Oct. 16. He was replaced by Jack Driscoll at right tackle and did not return to the game. The Eagles were off this past Sunday and they face the Steelers at the Linc Sunday afternoon.

This is Johnson’s third known concussion in his 10-year career with the Eagles.

In his all-pro season in 2017, Johnson suffered a concussion during a game against the Cards at the Linc and missed the game the following week against the Panthers. He also suffered a concussion during a game against the Patriots in November 2019 at the Linc and missed the game against the Seahawks the following week.

Johnson missed three games early last year while dealing with mental health issues he said were caused in part by a lingering ankle injury that dated back to 2018.

Before he got hurt against Dallas, Johnson had played all 412 offensive snaps this year. Pro Football Focus ranks him as the 11th-highest offensive tackle in the league so far this year with an overall grade of 78.2 and the fourth-highest pass blocker at 86.1. He hasn’t allowed a sack or a quarterback hit this year.

Phase 1 of the NFL’s concussion protocol is simply rest and limited stretching or aerobic work. Phase 2 allows cardio and dynamic stretching. Phase 3 allows for football-related exercises on an individual basis. Phase 4 allows non-contact team activities. As a player is able to tolerate each phase without experiencing symptoms, he proceeds to the next phase. When he’s able to get through Phase 4 without symptoms, he sees the neurologist to get cleared.

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