By Peter Gleason
Eagles All-World left tackle Jason Peters is 36-year-old and returning from an ACL and MCL, which cost him most of last season.
So, when he was pulled from yesterday’s 27-21 loss to the Bucs with an injury, Eagles Nation shuddered.
It was only a quad tweak, but he spent the rest of the game on the sideline, as the average Halapoulivaati Vaitai filled in.
So, Jason, what’s up?
“I did it in practice, the last play of ‘team’ [full-team reps] on Thursday. I was trying to get it ready for today, and got it OK to start and see what I could do,” said Peters, who never appeared on the Eagles’ injury report. “I want to say, on about the third play of the game, I strained it again. It kept grabbin’ on me. I was like, ‘Let me be smart about it,’ and I just came out.”
Peters said he expects to play next Sunday at home against the Colts, in what is shaping up as the return of Carson Wentz. Wideout Mike Wallace probably won’t play next week; he was wearing a boot in the locker room after suffering a right ankle injury early in Sunday’s game. Running back Jay Ajayi also left the game early, with a back problem, though Ajayi eventually returned.
“Any time you’re down a couple of bodies, it affects you offensively, and it tweaks your plan a little bit,” said Eagles coach Doug Pederson, who added that nonetheless, the offense’s problems were largely “self-inflicted.”
“It was very frustrating. I looked up once and saw it was second-and-40 or something,” Peters said. “We shot ourselves in the foot. … Run the play, execute the play, and not lose yards on plays, and [not] get penalties. I know I had one right before I came out. Just gotta stop doin’ that.”
“Penalties hurt us, especially on the one drive,” left guard Stefen Wisniewski said. “A lot of little mistakes added up. We gotta try to get some bigger plays going. We gotta do a little better on first and second down – too many third-and-longs.”
Wisniewski said losing Peters was no excuse for the offense needing nearly three quarters to get any flow going.
“It always hurts losing a really good player like J.P., but ‘V’ did a pretty good job,” Wisniewski said of Vaitai. “I know he got beat once [on a Jason Pierre-Paul sack] but I think he bounced back from that pretty well. V’s a good player. We can win with Big V.”