Peters, who was injured prior to Atlanta’s off-season programs beginning and hasn’t participated in any football activities since January, returned to practice this week, but is still marked as questionable for game action.
“He’s progressed,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said. “He’s not in football shape. That’s going to be a big concern.”
Peters was an important part of the Falcons defensive line last season, and says that in spite of the length of time taken for his rehabilitation, he hasn’t been holding back on returning to action.
“We are trying to go full speed,” Peters said. “We are going to do the best we can. I need to have it in my head that I’m back to normal, [that] everything is good. With a foot injury there’s always a little doubt in your head because you use it so much.”
Without Peters in the lineup, and with the defensive tackle rotation reduced to just three – Jonathan Babineaux, Peria Jerry, and Vance Walker – the Falcons run defense has suffered terribly. That group will be tested soundly this week against Philadelphia Eagles speedsters LeSean McCoy and Michael Vick.
Going into the game against the Eagles, the Falcons are ranked 28th in the league in run defense, giving up 143.8 yards per game. Peters, even used as a situational player, could prove to be a remedy for the ailing run stoppers.