Eagles parking Lane in Dallas

Posted: August 28, 2014

SUDDENLY, Lane Johnson is looking at his last game action until October.

Johnson, the fourth overall selection in the 2013 entry draft, will sit out the Eagles' first four games after testing positive for a banned substance. He can't be around the team practice facility from Monday until Sept. 29, the day after the Birds play game No. 4, at San Francisco.

"I've put some thought into it," Johnson acknowledged yesterday.

Eagles coach Chip Kelly said he didn't know how much Johnson would play in tomorrow night's preseason finale against the visiting New York Jets.

"I just want to go out and play well," Johnson said.

Johnson has been with the second offensive line unit all through camp, Kelly choosing to prepare Allen Barbre to play right tackle in Johnson's place at the start of the season.

"Twos have been playing pretty well this preseason, so we're trying to finish out strong," Johnson said. "Go out there, do my best, get back here in a month ready to run."

Johnson said last weekend his suspension plan was to stay in the area and train in Cherry Hill. Yesterday, he said he was going with a different strategy, devised by Eagles strength and conditioning coach Josh Hingst - Johnson will relocate to Dallas, and work out at a gym that features the nutritional regimen Kelly dictates.

He said he isn't sure whether other players will be there, allowing him to simulate a pass rush, for example. Johnson can't be in touch with coaches, but plans to Skype with offensive line teammates, he said.

Kelly yesterday spoke of how pleased he is with the second o-line; depth there looked like an issue when training camp began, the Eagles having drafted no offensive linemen this year. Kelly noted that the group "has been bolstered because of Lane."

Speaking of four-game suspensions for banned substances, linebacker Jake Knott, waived by the Eagles last weekend, said yesterday that if he doesn't get picked up right away, the first 4 weeks of the season will indeed count as his suspension.

There had been some confusion over that, but Knott said the league told him that because he was on a roster when the suspension was incurred, the weeks count. Had he been a free agent at the time he was suspended, a team signing him would then have to wait through the 4 weeks - a huge obstacle to a team looking for help during the season, obviously.

Vandervelde released

Chip Kelly said yesterday that backup center Julian Vandervelde is "a ways away" from being able to get back on the field following back surgery. A few hours later, it was no great surprise when the team announced it had reached an injury settlement with Vandervelde, a fifth-round pick in the Eagles' ill-fated 2011 draft. David Molk's strong play this preseason backing up Jason Kelce probably made the decision easier. It put the Eagles at the current roster limit of 75, which drops to the regular-season limit of 53 on Saturday.

In a series of tweets, Vandervelde thanked the organization, and said: "My focus now is on rehab and how I can better myself for the road ahead. Whatever the future holds, Philadelphia will always be in my heart."

Never too many QBs

If you were thinking the Eagles might try some fancy roster sleight of hand at the quarterback position - like putting the third QB on the practice squad - Chip Kelly indicated otherwise.

Obviously, players on the practice squad can be signed by any other team willing to place them on an active roster.

"You better make sure you're 100 percent certain that someone's going to make it through" waivers," Kelly said. "You look at Green Bay last year; all of a sudden they're signing guys off the street, because Aaron [Rodgers] went down. It's a tough deal. You look at St. Louis right now . . . In this league, if you don't have a quarterback, you're not going to be successful. I don't think you can ever have too many."

This emphasis also would seem to argue against trading backup Mark Sanchez.

Camp sights

* Connor Barwin (knee) practiced yesterday for the first time this week, not that it matters so much, with the starters next scheduled to appear Sept. 7, in the season opener.

* For reasons he could not explain, kicker Cody Parkey now wears No. 1 instead of No. 7. More Bernie Parent fan than Jaws/Vick, one assumes.

* Chip Kelly said the Eagles are keeping tabs on kickers being cut elsewhere, as you might expect. Reports from New York said the Giants traded former Temple kicker Brandon McManus to the Broncos yesterday for a conditional draft pick, instead of waiving him as was initially announced, because the Eagles had interest in plucking McManus from the waiver wire. Possibly getting something instead of definitely getting nothing might have had something to do with it, as well. The Broncos will be missing suspended kicker Matt Prater the first four games. Reportedly, they will send a seventh-round pick to the Giants if McManus remains on the Denver roster after Prater is eligible to return.

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