Unexpected news came down the wire this week that Lane Johnson would be suspended for the first four games of the regular season. This is certainly detrimental to a Philadelphia Eagles squad that had little depth in the front five as it was.
Now the depth is totally gone. Johnson provided size, strength, athleticism, and most importantly stability last season on the right side as a rookie. His loss will most certainly be felt, especially since the Eagles go up against some pretty formidable pass rushers in the first four weeks of the season. Allen Barbre should provide a solid band-aid fix though. When he filled in briefly for Jason Peters last season he more than got the job done.
Barbre is a journeyman. This isn’t his first rodeo. He won’t be a deer in the headlights out there as he is familiar with the scheme and is an assignment-sound veteran player. I have no doubt that he will do his job to afford Nick Foles’ a clean pocket and time to find his playmakers down field.
The real question is what happens if Barbre gets hurt? Put simply, the Eagles would be in big, big trouble. Their depth consists of the likes of Dennis Kelly, Michael Bamiro, and Matt Tobin. All undrafted or late-round draft choices that are simply backup players at best.
If they ever have to see significant minutes during the first quarter of the season while Johnson serves his punishment, Foles may just be running for his life. Keep your fingers crossed Eagles fans. Hope Barbre stays healthy and plays well for the suspended Johnson.
Yet another season where the Eagles are making headlines. Hopefully this latest slip up is a blip on the radar in an otherwise successful second campaign for Chip Kelly and company.