Why Johnson thinks his ankle surgery will make him even better in 2020


The good news is that Lane Johnson says he’s playing on Sunday against the Rams.

The better news is that Johnson thinks the ankle surgery he had a few weeks ago will eventually allow his left ankle to feel better than it has in a few years.

“Yeah, no question,” Johnson said. “Basically when you have the surgery, it tightens those two bones together to where there’s not a gap in there so you can have stability and all you have to do is gain back the strength."

Johnson said the procedure was a “tightrope surgery.”

A couple years ago, this type of surgery became famous when Tua Tagovailoa had the procedure done on both ankles during his career at Alabama. He first got the procedure after the SEC Championship Game against Georgia in 2018 and ended up playing in the College Football Playoff a few weeks after the surgery.

Here’s a little more about the procedure and why it has become preferred to using screws:

“Basically, when you have a high ankle sprain, the ligament in there, that connects the two bones, ends up tearing a little bit,” Johnson said. “Pretty much got re-tore and then had to go in there and fix it.”

Johnson said he first suffered the high ankle sprain back in 2018 against the Jaguars and played through it. Even last year, he said the ankle felt “unstable” but he was able to play through it again.

He came into training camp feeling OK, but re-injured his ankle at the Eagles’ scrimmage in August, which was the impetus for the surgery.

“This was really kind of a fixer for me,” Johnson said. “Something that finally got addressed, got taken care of. I think it will only get better as the season goes on."

As for this week, Johnson admitted he won’t be 100 percent. But as long as the swelling remains under control, he fully expects to make his 2020 season debut. Johnson said he pushed to play last week but after the 2 1/2 hour bus ride to Washington, the swelling was too great and he couldn’t go.

This week, Johnson said he’s feeling much better. He was a full participant in Wednesday’s practice but was limited on Thursday, which was part of the Eagles’ plan with him. He’s going to play Sunday and thinks it’ll get better from there.

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