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Lane Johnson returns to Eagles, explains he went on personal leave to deal with depression

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Lane Johnson announced Monday that he is returning to the Philadelphia Eagles after missing three games.

The Eagles' right tackle posted on Twitter that he has been dealing with depression and anxiety, saying they are "things I've dealt with for a long time, and have kept it hidden from my friends and family."

He then added: "If you're reading this and struggling, please know that you're not alone."

The Eagles (2-4) are off Monday. They'll return to practice Tuesday to begin preparing for their game Sunday against the Las Vegas Raiders.

Johnson began his leave Oct. 3, just hours before the Eagles' game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Eagles coach Nick Sirianni said he didn't know when, or even if, Johnson would return.

At one point, Sirianni said he was "hopeful" that Johnson would return this season.

Eagles center Jason Kelce, meanwhile, said that Johnson did stop by the team's practice facility during the first week of his absence and that he had the full support of his teammates.

"Everybody in here loves that guy," Kelce said last week. "He’s such a great personality, a great person to be around. A guy that really makes our room a lot more fun, a lot more energetic. He’s obviously a great football player. I just wish nothing but the best, and I can’t say enough good things about Lane Johnson."

Eagles' Lane Johnson (65) takes to the practice field during training camp Thursday at the NovaCare Complex.
Eagles' Lane Johnson (65) takes to the practice field during training camp Thursday at the NovaCare Complex.

The Eagles are obviously a better team with Johnson, who has been selected to the Pro Bowl three times. The Eagles are 12-20 without Johnson since drafting him in the first round in 2013. They are 59-42-1 with him.

The Eagles went 1-2 without Johnson during his latest absence. When Johnson first left, Jack Driscoll replaced him at right tackle. But the Eagles had spent that week preparing Driscoll, just coming off injured reserve, to play right guard in place of the injured Brandon Brooks.

At the time, left tackle Jordan Mailata was still out with a knee injury. Mailata returned the following week and played right tackle the next two games while Driscoll moved back to guard.

It is believed that with Johnson back at right tackle, Mailata will move back to left tackle, replacing Andre Dillard. Dillard had started the last four games at left tackle.

Follow Martin Frank on Twitter @Mfranknfl.

This article originally appeared on Delaware News Journal: Eagles' Lane Johnson back after personal leave to deal with depression