There isn’t very much precedent for what Jason Peters is trying to do.
At 6-foot-4, 328 pounds, Peters is attempting to come back from a twice ruptured Achilles tendon suffered a year ago and return to an elite level. After a spring’s worth of OTAs and mini camp leading up to Friday’s first two-hour full squad training camp practice, it appears it is all systems go for the All-Pro left tackle.
“I don’t think there are many players in the world like him,” Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly raved of Peters. “Sometimes I catch myself watching him at practice and saying ‘wow’.”
Peters is widely regarded as the best left tackle in the game and has appeared in five Pro Bowls from 2007 through 2011. He announced to a pack of reporters at the Novacare Complex Friday that he’s ready for a comeback in 2012.
“I’m a hundred percent and ready to play,” Peters explained. ” I’m the same player I was before last year, I rehabbed [my Achilles] well and was able to go full tilt.
Peters pointed out that his doctors have not placed him under any limitations and he isn’t practicing any differently than he did before the injury.
“[Getting on the field at training camp] was a long time coming,” Peters said. “I was anxious to get out there. Felt good the first day of OTAs, good on first day of camp and now I’m just looking forward to getting out there in a game.”
The ten-year veteran will anchor an offensive line that was decimated by injuries last season, with only Evan Mathis left standing by season’s end among the team’s projected opening day starters.
Injuries played a role in the Eagles’ struggles last season, resulting in a 4-12 debacle to punctuate the 14-year Andy Reid era. Peters is confident that a bounce back year is coming in Kelly’s first season as an NFL head coach.
“I think we can rebound” Peters said. “I guarantee we win more than four games. My goal is a division championship and make the playoffs.”
If the Eagles are to make a playoff run in 2013, health up front, especially for Peters, will be critical.
Matt Lombardo is also a sports radio host on 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia. Join the conversation and follow him on Twitter.