IT'S OFFICIAL. Lane Johnson was not suspended by the close of NFL business Friday, so he will start at right tackle Sunday in the Eagles' opener against the Cleveland Browns.
"Getting ready to play, man," Johnson said after Friday's practice. "I didn't think this day would come."
The Eagles decided last week that since Johnson's suspension hadn't been announced and the season was at hand, they would file away the plan they spent much of the preseason working on, in which left guard Allen Barbre practiced and played at right tackle, with rookie Isaac Seumalo fighting veteran free-agent signee Stefen Wisniewski for Barbre's former spot. Barbre has moved back to left guard.
Ever since July 30, when he got notice that a June drug test yielded a positive A sample result for banned peptides, Johnson has awaited what he thinks will be a 10-game suspension, as a second-time drug program offender. He served four games in 2014 for taking Adderall without proper authorization.
But the result from Johnson's B sample, which he thought would be in by the end of the preseason, apparently has not been retrieved. A few weeks ago, he thought his season would start in late November. Instead, it starts Sunday.
"This has been the biggest mental hurdle of my career," Johnson said. "I'm just going day by day."
When Johnson gets notice of the suspension, he has the right to appeal it, a process that often takes several weeks to complete.
Browns defensive coordinator Ray Horton told reporters in Cleveland that the Eagles are running Carson Wentz's North Dakota State offense. That isn't literally true, but Eagles coach Doug Pederson said Friday the West Coast-type scheme he brought from Kansas City is a good fit for the rookie quarterback, who is scheduled to make his first NFL start Sunday against the Browns.
"It's funny, because really, the offense I've brought is geared to his strengths," Pederson said. "Play-action pass movement, his ability to run, throw on the run, things like that. There wasn't a lot of having to shift gears and having to favor his strengths. Everything we've done, and I've done in the past, really fits him and the type of quarterback he is."
Browns defensive lineman Carl Nassib, from West Chester and Penn State, complimented Wentz's arm and athleticism, but said he had a bit of a slow release the Browns would key upon.
Asked about Wentz's release, Pederson said: "We've worked on his feet, worked on a little bit of his upper-body mechanics. We don't feel like it's a slow release. It can be long at times. He's such a long guy, it can be, like 'Colin Kaepernick long' at times. Anticipation, throwing the ball on time, can help that process, get the ball out of his hand fast. The design of the play can get the ball out of his hand fast."
Wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham's role remains limited, Doug Pederson said . . . WR Bryce Treggs (knee) will not play . . . The Eagles listed tight end Trey Burton as questionable with a calf strain that must have happened in practice, since Pederson said everyone but Treggs was OK when he spoke before the workout.