Eagles right tackle Lane Johnson made a choice to put off surgery for a late-season core muscle injury so that he could keep the door open to a return to action in the playoffs and he was able to walk through that door against the Giants in the divisional round, but it wasn’t always clear that Johnson was going to be able to do that.
On Monday night, Eagles offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland recalled Johnson “crying like a baby” when he first got the word about the severity of his injury, but his mood improved once he heard about how other players had been able to manage playing through similar injuries in the past. Johnson has done more than just play as well.
Stoutland said he believes Johnson “probably played one of his best games from a technique standpoint” against Nick Bosa and the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game.
“You’re playing a guy like Nick, you can’t be off at all. There was one play early on where he did a little something erratic and Nick got him a little bit,” Stoutland said. “Right after that, boom, he was on it. He was like ‘I can’t do that again.’ Credit to Lane. Lane knows himself really well, he watches a lot of film on these guys. So I’m real impressed, but it’s not a surprise to me. I think Lane’s one of the best players that ever played the position.”
The Eagles will ask Johnson to be at the top of his game one more time against the Chiefs and coming up with that kind of performance would be a big boost to their Super Bowl hopes.