LT Peters set for his Eagles return
Aug. 21, 2013
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Jason Peters' wait to return to Philadelphia's starting lineup is over.
Peters is set to return to the offensive line and play three quarters Saturday night against Jacksonville. Peters missed all of the 2012 season after he ruptured his right Achilles. He also missed the first two preseason games because of a sore hamstring.
A five-time Pro Bowl selection, Peters was widely considered one of the best offensive linemen in the NFL. He spent his first five seasons with Buffalo before coming to Philadelphia in 2009.
He's rehabbed on the stationary bike, in a pool, even practiced. He just hasn't taken a snap in a live game.
Back on the field for the first time in more than a year, Peters said he's ready to go. He just needs to work on his conditioning to get into game shape before the Sept. 9 opener at Washington.
"I play so fast, so hard," Peters said Wednesday. "You only can go so long. You've got to get your body in shape. That's what I'm going to do Saturday and what I've been doing since Day 1 of training camp."
Peters was awarded nearly $2 million in July in a lawsuit over a rolling walker which he says broke and caused him to reinjure his torn Achilles tendon. The lawsuit said Peters was using a Roll-A-Bout knee walker in March 2012 when it broke below the handlebar, three weeks after his initial surgery.
He's put the lawsuit behind him and is focused on football.
The Eagles' depleted offensive line was a broken-down mess in former coach Andy Reid's final season. Right tackle Todd Herremans missed time with a dislocated bone and ligament damage in his right foot. Center Jason Kelce and right guard Danny Watkins also missed games because of injuries. Left guard Evan Mathis was the only starter to play 16 games.
Behind a makeshift line, Michael Vick was sacked seven times in a midseason loss to New Orleans.
With the line healthy and Peters eager to settle in at left tackle, Vick should be under less pressure this season. Coach Chip Kelly named Vick the starter this week. Peters said a healthy, energized line should make the difference in Vick returning to star form.
"I see Mike as a Pro Bowler," he said. "You see what he did when he had his offensive line. He got his big contract. He went to the Pro Bowl. If you ain't got your offensive line as a quarterback, your play's going to drop a little bit.
"He fumbled the ball, also. But that all comes from not having your starters protecting you."
The Eagles allowed 48 sacks last season while they stumbled to a 4-12 record.
With the line so shaky, it's no wonder the Eagles didn't lean as much on running back LeSean McCoy, a gamebreaker who was all but invisible inside the red zone last season.
Peters is trying to lead in the locker room, as well, already setting a pretty lofty goal for his rebuilt line.
"Try to be the best," he said. "Try to give up the least sacks ever in Eagles' history, that's the first goal, and try to get a championship. We've got an athletic line, if we come together, we're going to win games.
"Because it's going to start with us."