Could Philadelphia Eagles LT Jason Peters Return Soon?
Philadelphia Eagles left tackle Jason Peters could actually return this season from a ruptured Achilles tendon.
When Philadelphia Eagles left tackle Jason Peters ruptured his Achilles tendon for the second time in the same offseason back in May, it appeared the chances of a return in 2012 were miniscule. Now, those chances may have grown significantly.
Peters is well ahead of schedule in his rehabilitation and has lost weight and performed well in workouts, according to FOX 29′s Howard Eskin.
Peters is one of the best offensive lineman, if not the very best, in the NFL and the Eagles offensive line has struggled mightily in the last few weeks. Peters’ absence as well as that of starting center Jason Kelce, who partially tore his ACL and fully tore his MCL, has not helped matters.
“He’s getting better,” said head coach Andy Reid on Monday. “He’s made progress. He’s moving around now outside the pool and the treadmill where we reduce the body weight of the players. He’s able to move around [and] do some agility things and push it a little bit. Not to the extent where he’s near being cleared yet.”
The Eagles did not place Peters on the season ending injured reserve when the season started, rather opting to keep him on the reserve/non-football injury list.
The reserve/N-FI list functions the same as the physically unable to perform list. The Eagles can have Peters begin practicing anytime between Week Six and Week Nine of the regular season – we’re currently in Week Seven. From the time he begins practicing, he’ll have 21 days before the Eagles must activate him to the 53-man roster or place him on the injured reserve, ending his season.
The Eagles are also yet to use the injured reserve/designated for return spot, which was created this year. Each team can place on player under that designation, and they can return to practice after six weeks and play in a game after eight.
Thus, in theory, the Eagles could move Peters to that list at any point and buy him additional time – potentially all the way up until the week of the NFC Championship Game, should they make it that far. Using that method to keep Peters eligible is extraordinarily unlikely, though.
It is far more likely that Peters either returns by Week 12, the end of the reserve/N-FI timeline, or goes on season-ending injured reserve.
Is a return for Peters even remotely realistic though? A ruptured Achilles tendon can often take a full year of recovery. Not always, though.
Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs is reportedly ready to return this week, after tearing his Achilles tendon in late-April. If Peters followed a similar timeline, he’d be about two weeks away from a return to the practice field. Suggs practiced yesterday and wants to play Sunday.
While sometimes lighter weight athletes can return more quickly than their larger counterparts from injuries to lower body, Suggs and Peters aren’t that far apart. Suggs is listed at 260 pounds but has reportedly been over 280 at times throughout his career, while Peters is listed at 340 pounds, but has reportedly lost 25 pounds per Eskin.
It’s still a discrepancy of 30 pounds or so, and not the only factor or even the largest factor in recovery time, but it’s not as if it’s the difference between Peters and a small wide receiver like DeSean Jackson.
Defensive tackle Mike Patterson is on the reserve/non-football illness list as he continues to recover from offseason brain surgery to repair a brain arteriovenous malformation. That list has the same set of rules.
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