Is anyone else nervous about Jason Peters? I can’t be the only one, right? I mean, the dude tore his Achilles twice. I expect the offensive line to be better this year for the Philadelphia Eagles, considering that left guard Evan Mathis was the only starter to play every game, but the real question is what are the Eagles going to get out of Peters?
I did some searching to see how many players have returned from an Achilles injury. The first thing to pop-up as I was searching was NBA players. Dominique Wilkins, Elton Brand, and Chauncey Billups have all torn their Achilles. Wilkins was still a good player, but he wasn’t “The Human Highlight Film” anymore. Brand was never the same, and the same can be said for Billups. Kobe Bryant is the latest casualty with a torn Achilles, and who knows what type of player he will be when he returns.
Then I went to the NFL side. Wide receiver DeMaryius “Optimus Prime” Thomas of the Denver Broncos tore his Achilles and hasn’t been slowed down by it one bit, though Thomas was just 23 years-old at the time. Linebacker Takeo Spikes had some solid years after tearing his in 2006; even wide receiver Steve Smith of the Carolina Panthers had no ill effects from his Achilles injury. Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs fought his way back from an Achilles injury in less than a year.
Those are the positive stories.
Linebacker Shawne Merriman tore his Achilles and was forced to retire from it. Former Eagles “whipping boy” wide receiver Todd Pinkston tore his Achilles and never played a regular season game in the NFL again. Another former Eagle, safety Marlin Jackson tore his Achilles in 2010 and hasn’t played football since.
There was an article written a couple of years back on LowerExtrenityReview.com that only two-thirds of NFL players ever come back, and the ones that do make it back find their game completely changed from an Achilles injury.
So yeah, the odds are not really in Peters’ favor, especially because none of the players that I mentioned are 300 pound linemen. Former NFL offensive tackle Jon Jansen returned from the injury and had a decent career though.
It is 2013, and medicine is well advanced. So maybe I am just over thinking things.