The No. 4 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft will not be available for the first four games of the 2014 season. The Philadelphia Eagles announced that offensive tackle Lane Johnson was suspended for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances.
"We're very disappointed to learn of his suspension. We have spoken to Lane about the details of the suspension. He understood what he did wrong and took full responsibility. The key for him, however, is to learn from that mistake and move forward with his preparation for the 2014 season," the team said in a statement.
Johnson will be eligible to return to the Eagles' active roster on Monday, September 29. He is also able to practice fully in training camp and play in the preseason. Johnson says he took prescribed medication that caused the failed drug test. Johnson apologized to the organization.
General manager Howie Roseman said in January that Johnson remains in line to eventually take over at left tackle, where 32-year-old Jason Peters currently resides. In the short term, this is not a devastating loss.
The Eagles are uniquely well equipped to deal with Johnson's absence. They signed solid reserve tackle Allen Barbre to a contract extension earlier in the offseason. Barbre will presumably fill in for Johnson on an Eagles line that has great continuity and talent.