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Monday, June 30, 2014
Lane Johnson faces suspension

By Phil Sheridan
ESPN.com

PHILADELPHIA -- Eagles right tackle Lane Johnson faces a four-game suspension this season after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance, according to multiple reports.

Neither the Eagles nor the NFL had any comment on the reports. The pending suspension was first reported by the Philadelphia Daily News.

Johnson, 24, was the Eagles' first-round draft choice in 2013, the fourth player taken overall. He started all 17 games, including the Eagles' playoff loss to the New Orleans Saints.

Last year, the Eagles' offensive line benefited from remarkable continuity. All five linemen started all 17 games in coach Chip Kelly's first season. The line helped running back LeSean McCoy lead the NFL in rushing and quarterback Nick Foles establish himself as the starter.

Assuming the reports are accurate, that continuity will be impossible in 2014. The Eagles' first four games are against Jacksonville, Indianapolis, Washington and San Francisco.

Based on his 2014 salary of $495,000, the four-game suspension will cost Johnson $116,470, or four game checks. Johnson received a $12.8 million signing bonus last year as part of a four-year, $20 million contract.

To replace Johnson for four games, the Eagles have several options. The simplest move would be to start Allen Barbre, who signed a three-year contract extension in early June.

Barbre played much of the Eagles' game in Green Bay last year in place of injured left tackle Jason Peters.

The Eagles could also go with Dennis Kelly, Matt Tobin and Michael Bamiro. Or they could move starting right guard Todd Herremans to tackle and have Barbre, Tobin or Kelly play guard.

Johnson was a tackle at Oklahoma after playing tight end, defensive end and quarterback at Kilgore (Texas) College.