PHILADELPHIA, PA (The Spread) - The NFL has suspended Eagles offensive tackle Lane Johnson four games for violating the league's policy against PEDs.
There had been reports that Johnson bulked up this offseason and maybe now we know how he accomplished the feat. The Eagles did sign Allen Barbre to a three-year contract extension earlier this month and he'll likely get the first crack at replacing Johnson at right tackle.
Johnson was the fourth overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft out of Oklahoma. While he wasn't considered a top 5 prospect entering the draft, he held more value to Chip Kelly and the Eagles because of his athleticism. A former tight end, Johnson fit the fast, up-tempo system that Kelly wanted to run in his first year at Philadelphia. But it was also said that Johnson needed to add more weight, so maybe he felt the pressure to pack on size.
That said, we don't know at this point whether or not Johnson took something to put on weight or perhaps drop more body fat so that he could move faster. The NFL never releases what the player took, as everything on the banned list falls under the policy against performance-enhancing drugs. Whatever he took, it's bad news for a Philadelphia team that won the NFC East a year ago and made the playoffs in Kelly's first year. Johnson will miss games against Jacksonville, Indianapolis, Washington and San Francisco.
According to oddsmakers from online sports book Bovada.lv, the Eagles are 25/1 to win the 2015 Super Bowl. The Broncos and Seahawks remain co-favorites to win it all at 13/2, while the 49ers are 7/1 and the Patriots are 9/1. Teams with comparable odds to Philadelphia are Atlanta (28/1), Carolina (33/1), Detroit (33/1), and Pittsburgh (33/1).