Eagles Notebook: Jason Peters Easing Back in; Will Play Saturday
(Rob Carr/Getty Images)
For the first time since 2011, Eagles left tackle Jason Peters will play. The all-pro left tackle is healthy and will suit up and play in Saturday's preseason game against Jacksonville (listen on 97.3 ESPN).
Now the challenge is staying healthy for the regular season, and that precaution is the reason he has been limited in training camp after missing more than three weeks of practice with a hamstring injury.
"We're going to get him two quarters and then we'll evaluate at halftime how many snaps he'll get, not get," Eagles head coach Chip Kelly explained. "There's a certain amount of work Jason needs to get in, he knows that."
Peters has battled back from two right Achilles' ruptures and he's had no issues this week from the right-hamstring injury that kept him out of the first two preseason games. Peters indicated that this isn't something that should be a chronic condition.
"I love his mentality," Kelly said. "If you ask Jason, he wants to play four quarters."
Peter's health is important not just because of what he brings to Philadelphia as a starter, but because of the situation at that position. Even if he's 80 percent of what he was, it's huge for the Eagles. In 2011, Peters graded out as Pro Football Focus' best tackle by a wide margin and was a first-team All-Pro. The tackle position was a disaster last season with Peters out for the entire season. While journeyman Allan Barbre has played well in Peters place this preseason, there is a reason he has not been able to stick with one team. A fourth-round pick back in 2007, Barbre was released by Seattle in October before appearing in a single 2012 game. He's started seven of 32 games over six seasons. Second-year man Dennis Kelly will miss the remainder of preseason after undergoing back surgery and might not be ready by the start of the season. He's having his L2 disc repaired. Last season the wave of Eagles O-Line injuries forced Kelly into 10 starts as a rookie, so he should be more prepared if pressed into duty in 2013.
Peters had said before camp started that if he doesn't return to form, he'll retire, whether he was serious or not is unknown, but so far the Achillies injury doesn't seem to be a factor.
"It looks like he has never been through an Achilles' injury to me," teammate Evan Mathis said. "He was at his true form. If you know football at all, you would see that yourself. He looks great. He looks phenomenal."
An offensive line of Peters, Evan Mathis, Jason Kelce, Todd Herremans and rookie Lane Johnson has a chance to be one of the league's best.