PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Eagles will be getting their starting right tackle back for Week 7’s matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders. On Monday morning, Lane Johnson announced on Twitter that he’s excited to rejoin the team after missing the past two weeks and opened up about his mental health.
Johnson joins other professional athletes, like Olympic gold medal gymnast Simone Biles, using their platform to break the silence regarding mental health struggles for others.READ MORE: Third Round Of Free At-Home COVID-19 Test Kits Now Available
“I would like to thank everyone for their understanding and support over the past two weeks,” Johnson tweeted. “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’re not alone. I’m excited to rejoin my teammates & 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.”
— Lane Johnson (@LaneJohnson65) October 18, 2021
“You’re kind of supposed to play through difficulty,” Dr. Brian Gallagher said.
According to the CDC, one in six adults will have depression at some time in their life. Einstein Clinical Sports Psychologist Dr. Brian Gallagher says he’s hopeful Johnson’s public words will go a long way in ending the stigma.
“Something like a mental health problem is treated like a pulled hamstring or a concussion,” Gallagher said.
One Eagles fan pointed out that “everybody is human and that everybody can go through difficult times and that we all need to be compassionate.”
During his absence, Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni wore Johnson’s No. 65 on his visor, a sign of support echoed by Eagles fans.READ MORE: Pennsylvania AG Josh Shapiro Tests Positive For COVID-19
“That’s the biggest thing, it’s OK to not be OK. It’s OK to express yourself. It’s OK to show emotion as a man, society teachers you that that’s the exact opposite of what you should do, be strong, be stern, and keep those things in,” Eagles fan Michael Cruz said.
Johnson isn’t the first Eagles offensive lineman to open about his mental health.
In 2019, right guard Brandon Brooks opened up about his anxiety condition that’s forced him to miss some games throughout his career.
— Brandon Brooks (@bbrooks_79) November 25, 2019
The Eagles’ offensive line, as it usually does throughout the season, got reshuffled a bit over the past couple of weeks with Johnson out. Jordan Mailata started at right tackle in place of Johnson, while Andre Dillard played left tackle.
With Johnson back in the mix, the Eagles will have three of their five starters back in the lineup.
The Eagles will play the Raiders, who just beat the Denver Broncos 34-24, at 4:05 p.m. on Sunday.MORE NEWS: FDA Authorizes Pfizer Covid-19 Booster Shots For Children Ages 5 To 11
CBS3’s Alicia Roberts and Tom Igundo contributed to this report.