Johnson a full participant in final playoff practice originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
Lane Johnson, who hasn’t played since suffering a core muscle tear a month ago, cleared his final hurdle on Thursday prior to returning to action after a four-week layoff.
Johnson is listed as a full participant at practice on the Eagles' Thursday injury report and doesn’t carry an injury status into the Eagles’ playoff game against the Giants Saturday night.
That’s fantastic news for the Eagles two days before they begin play in the postseason.
Johnson suffered a torn groin muscle late in the fourth quarter of the Eagles’ loss to the Cowboys on Dec. 24 and didn’t play in the final two regular-season games, against the Saints and Giants.
Although this is an injury that sidelines most players, Johnson said he believes he can be effective for as long as the Eagles are alive in the playoffs. They face the Giants Saturday night at the Linc and will host the NFC Championship Game against the Cowboys-49ers winner if they win.
Johnson didn’t speak to reporters in the locker room Thursday, but he said last week he's confident he could pull this off.
“It’s real important to me (to try and play), especially when there’s few times when you’re on a team that has a chance to win it all,” Johnson said. “I could see that throughout the season. The timing of the injury wasn’t great, but the only reason I’m coming back is because I think we have a chance to be something special.”
Johnson was limited at practice Tuesday and Wednesday before practicing fully in the Eagles’ indoor Thursday practice, their final session before the game.
The Eagles are a different team with Johnson in the lineup. They don’t have to give him any help, which means more skill players running patterns for Jalen Hurts to throw to. They averaged 30.9 points and 397 yards and gave up 2.3 sacks per game with Johnson this year and scored 16.0 points and 328 yards while allowing 4 ½ sacks without him.
Johnson has played in seven career playoff games. He missed the Seattle wild-card game in 2019 with an ankle injury that ultimately needed surgery.
Jack Driscoll, a 4th-round pick in 2020, started at right tackle in place of Johnson against the Saints and Giants.
Jalen Hurts, who missed losses to the Cowboys and Saints with a shoulder injury suffered against the Bears, hasn't appeared on the injury report at all this week.
Linval Joseph (calf) and Robert Quinn (back) were also both full participants and don’t carry an injury designation, which means they’re full-go for Saturday. Brandon Graham, who was sick Wednesday and didn’t practice, was limited Thursday but also doesn’t have a designation, so he’s expected to play as well.
The only player on the 53-man roster who the Eagles won’t have Saturday is slot corner Avonte Maddox, who suffered a toe injury in the Dallas game and hasn’t played since. The Eagles haven’t placed Maddox on Injured Reserve, which means they’re holding out hope that at some point if they keep winning he’ll be able to play.