Jason Peters is playing through biceps pain to help the Eagles win
Eagles left tackle Jason Peters battled back from a major knee injury only to suffer quad and bicep injuries. But the nine-time Pro Bowler is determined to fight through the pain and keep playing.
SUNBURY-ON-THAMES, England – If Hollywood were writing the script for Jason Peters' comeback from last year's knee injury, the nine-time Pro Bowler would play every snap, have the best season of his career, lead the Eagles to a second straight Super Bowl title, and then ride off into the sunset to wait for Canton to call him in five years.
But real life typically doesn't turn out quite the way Hollywood would write it. It hasn't for Peters – or the Eagles – so far this season.
His return from ACL and MCL tears in his knee has been marred by more injuries – a quad strain suffered in the Week 2 loss to Tampa Bay and then a torn biceps two weeks ago in a 34-13 win over the Giants.
The biceps tear would have KO'd most players for the season. But the 36-year-old Peters has soldiered on, playing through the pain.
He played all but six snaps of last week's 21-17 loss to Carolina and will answer the bell at left tackle again Sunday when the 3-4 Eagles face the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Stadium.
"We got to get a win,'' Peters said Friday after the Eagles finished a two-hour practice at the London Irish Rugby Club. "We got to stay focused. We have to play balls out Sunday.''
As he came off the field, Peters was asked how the biceps was feeling. He smiled and said, "Is that a trick question? It's torn. It's sore. But nothing I can't play through.''
Peters is a warrior. They could amputate the arm and he probably would say the same thing.
The quad and biceps injuries might not be anything he can't play with, but there is no question they are having an effect on his performance level.
"I'm coming off a knee injury; [torn] MCL and ACL,'' he said. "I had no training camp. I'm just trying to get my legs back under me where I can really play at a high level every single play.
"Right now, I'm having a [bad] play here and there. But if you look around the league, there's guys playing worse than me.
"[I'm] not playing super bad. But [I'm] not playing at the high level like I want to play.''
Peters played in just seven games last season before injuring his knee. Halapoulivaati Vaitai stepped in and did a solid job as his replacement, and the Eagles won 13 games and brought home the franchise's first NFL title in 57 years.
Despite the quad and biceps injuries, Peters has somehow missed just 110 snaps this season. The week after he hurt the quad, he played every snap against the Colts. Same thing a week later against the Titans.
But the offense hasn't been the smooth-running machine it was last year. At least not yet.
Last year, the Eagles averaged nearly 29 points per game. This year, they have scored more than 23 just once in seven games. They haven't been as good on third down or in the red zone. They aren't running the ball as well, or protecting Carson Wentz as well.
And, oh yeah, they're 3-4.
"The red zone,'' Peters said in that Professor Plum-in-the-kitchen-with-the wrench tone.
"We got to score when we're down there. We got held up a couple of times. We just have to be better in the red zone. Then the points will go from 17 to 35.''
As long as Peters feels he can help the Eagles, he will never consider taking himself out. He will keep fighting through the pain and keep answering the bell.
"You just try to play through it, and get treatment,'' he said. "That's all you can do.
"I'm trying to win, man. I'm trying to keep Carson clean the best way that I can, and try to win. We let one slip away last week. We had them. We just didn't play 60 minutes.''
"It's pretty incredible,'' center Jason Kelce said. "J.P. is doing everything he can.
"He obviously had the knee injury last year and the quad injury coming back from that and now the bicep. He really hasn't had a chance to get fully healthy, unfortunately.
"He's giving it everything he's got. I don't think any other tackle I've seen would be able to play through that [biceps] injury. But he's special. It's the kind of guy he is.''
Peters doesn't think the offense is very far away from getting back to the level it was at last season.
"We're close,'' he said. "If we get a couple takeaways, if we do better in the red zone, we're going to score a lot of points. We just have to do better in the red zone.''
Wentz, like Peters, is coming off ACL and MCL tears. He feels the more distance the quarterback puts between himself and last December's injury, the better he will get.
"I see a guy trying to make a big play, trying to score points,'' he said. "That's why we have to keep him clean.
"He's also coming off a knee injury. It's just different. You have to get your legs up under you. He didn't have a preseason, either. His movement and stuff is going to get better every game.
"Same with me. The guy is throwing touchdowns and still making plays and still playing at a high level.''