It has now been three weeks since the first report about Eagles OT Lane Johnson being suspended for the first four weeks of the NFL season. No official announcement has been made by the NFL or the Eagles as of yet.
Paul Domowitch broke the news initially on June 30th with a report citing “league sources” that stated Johnson had tested positive for PEDs and will miss the first four games. Other beat writers followed up and confirmed the same thing from “league sources.”
Whether or not several Philly beat writers have the same league source or they each have their own is unknown. Either way, they all confirmed that he did test positive and that he “will” be suspended.
Yet, it still hasn’t become official. So, what gives? What the hell is taking so long?
The difference here is most likely because we heard about it before the appeals process could take place. I would imagine that most, if not all, players would attempt to appeal a pending suspension.
And that process takes a little time to complete. Usually we don’t hear about a positive test for PEDs and subsequent suspension until it becomes official.
When we learned of Jake Knott’s suspension, it was official. When the news broke about Dion Jordan’s four-game suspension for PEDs, it was official. The same goes for Robert Mathis’ suspension.
In Mathis’ case, he appealed the suspension initially, then withdrew his appeal, then reinstated his appeal and had his case heard and decided all before anyone knew what was going on.
It’s unclear how long the appeals process actually takes and it probably varies depending upon the specific circumstances surrounding the case. If we are to assume that Johnson did test positive for PEDs, perhaps he has a good defense for whatever it was he tested positive for.
I’m just guessing, but I’d imagine that the better the defense the player, his agent and the NFLPA has, the longer the appeals process would take. If it’s cut-and-dry and the player doesn’t have much of a leg to stand on, I’d imagine the process would be quicker.
Either that or the ever-aggressive Philly beat writers just got the scoop extremely early in the process and appeals generally take more than three weeks.
It would be nice to have a resolution to this before training camp begins this week. I’m sure Johnson and the Eagles don’t want to deal with the inevitable barrage of questions surrounding this case upon the opening of camp.
In this case, no news is good news thus far. The longer this is delayed, the better the chances that perhaps Johnson won’t be suspended after all.
However, the hammer could drop at any time and his suspension will become official.
***Edit below at 5:10pm ET 7/21/14***
Eagles beat writer Tim McManus pretty much just confirmed the above via his Twitter account…
A lot of people curious about what is happening on the Lane Johnson front. The NFL, NFLPA, the Eagles and Johnson’s camp all quiet on this.
The league office and/or NFLPA doesn’t officially announce a suspension if a player is going to appeal, per players association spokesman.
Once appeal is processed, the league will make an announcement, per NFLPA.
If Johnson is going through appeals process that could explain delay. But no official word from any camp yet that Johnson has failed test.