Eagles tackle Lane Johnson clears concussion protocol

ByTim McManus ESPN logo
Wednesday, October 18, 2017

PHILADELPHIA -- The Eagles are hoping to get two key pieces back on offense in time for Monday night's key divisional matchup against the Washington Redskins.

Right tackle Lane Johnson cleared the concussion protocol and was able to practice Tuesday. The head injury forced him to miss Thursday's game at the Carolina Panthers. His replacement, Halapoulivaati Vaitai, gave up a sack to Julius Peppers on the Eagles' first drive. And while Vaitai stabilized as the game went on, three sacks came off the right side of the Eagles' line along with seven of the 13 pressures.

Running back Wendell Smallwood is also on track to play Monday night after missing the past two games with what he described as swelling in his knee. He practiced in full Tuesday, though it was a light session.

"It didn't bother me that much," Smallwood said. "I'm working towards [playing on Monday]. "I felt good today. Hopefully ... I'll get even better as the week goes on."

Smallwood stepped into the role of primary third-down back after Darren Sproles was lost for the season. The Eagles backs had some issues in pass protection against Carolina. Smallwood's return should help in the effort to keep quarterback Carson Wentz clean. It should also benefit a ground game that has been on a roll since Week 3 of the season.

Smallwood has been effective in spots when healthy, rushing for 113 yards on 29 carries (3.9 average) with a touchdown as part of a running back by committee approach.