Lane Johnson returns to Philadelphia Eagles ahead of Week 7, statement

Lane Johnson, Philadelphia Eagles (Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)
Lane Johnson, Philadelphia Eagles (Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports) /

Any time news breaks that someone of Lane Johnson‘s stature and ability won’t be able to suit up for the Philadelphia Eagles, the first thought, because we’re human, is often to shuffle the roster in our minds and make guesses about who will fill in during their absence. If that player is a key component in said team’s success, we begin debating about whether wins and losses are in question.

When we hear terms like ‘personal matter’ and when that absence extends from days to weeks, we’re reminded of something more important. Football is just a game, but that game is played by real people.

Lane Johnson isn’t just an Eagles legend. He’s a hero.

Initially, most of us didn’t know how serious Lane’s personal matter was, but as one week bled into another, concern grew, and understandably so. We all asked the same questions. What’s wrong? Has anyone heard anything?

Philly’s legend and starting right tackle was a last-minute scratch before Week 3’s game versus the Kansas City Chiefs. He then missed the next two games versus the Carolina Panthers, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. There were questions about whether or not he’d return this season.

The team said his absence was because of a “personal matter”. We’ve all been crossing our fingers and hoping for the best ever since. Thankfully, on the Monday leading up to Week 7’s game versus the Las Vegas Raiders, good news arrived.

Johnson announced that he was ready to return. You could almost hear the sighs of relief. Here’s the full statement that he released via his Twitter accounts.

"I would like to thank everyone for their understanding and support over the last two weeks. I appreciate the positive notes and messages as I’ve worked hard to restore my personal life. Depression and anxiety are things I’ve dealt with for a long time and have kept hidden from my friends and family. If you’re reading this and struggling, please know that you are not alone. I am excited to re-join my teammates and coaches. I’m grateful for the entire Eagles community and look forward to continuing to play in front of (the) best fans in the world!"

We see these guys as warriors. Sometimes, we treat them as if they’re unbreakable or nothing more than a rating on our Madden Ultimate Teams, but Johnson’s words are a reminder that hard times visit us all. We’re just thankful that he’s received and is receiving the help that he needs.

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Lane Johnson is a warrior. He’s, without question, an Eagles legend. Hopefully, his journey and honesty will inspire others in need of help to take action. Something tells us that it will.