Even future Hall of Famer Jason Peters is not immune to the Eagles’ offensive line foibles, though it’s no wonder. The 36-year-old left tackle is only about 12 months removed from major knee surgery.
But after the Eagles’ 23-21 loss to the Vikings on Sunday, Peters suggested he’s not the only player who hasn’t been razor sharp returning from injury — that Carson Wentz might be making the O-line’s job harder.
“Right now, we’re kind of struggling at offensive line because we have to block longer,” said Peters postgame. “We have a quarterback that’s coming off an injury and he wants to make a play. We just have to block longer for him to make the play.”
If that’s not a euphemism for “the quarterback is holding the ball too long,” I don’t know what is.
Peters wasn’t pointing the finger as much as acknowledging the reality of the Eagles’ situation. Wentz was out nine months with the same injury — a torn ACL and MCL. The quarterback was limited throughout OTAs and training camp, and missed the entire preseason and first two games of the regular season.
Wentz is holding the ball too long at times. He appears to be a hair slower with his reads and isn’t seeing the whole field.
And Peters can relate.
“I’m getting my legs up under me as I go, but it’s tough coming off an ACL-MCL, playing 80-some plays a game,” said Peters. “I’m out there rolling, giving what I got. Little rust on me, but I’m not giving up too much.”
All of which is understandable. Peters is a senior citizen by NFL standards, plus has been battling smaller, nagging injuries all season. Wentz is still a pup and really could’ve benefitted from a full offseason program and live reps.
None of it is an excuse, either. No matter what he’s coming back from, no matter how long the offensive line needs to protect, Peters knows they need to get the job done.
“I have to play better and it’s all the way across,” said Peters. “I take accountability for everything that happened today. I’m just trying to give everything that I have every play, and when we get down like that — the guys pass rushing and Carson’s trying to make a play — we just have to keep them off of him.”
The O-line hasn’t provided much reason for optimism they’re still up to the task in 2018. Even Peters realizes the Eagles are in a perilous place after falling to 2-3 on Sunday.
He’s also been around long enough there’s still hope for the Eagles to get healthy and get their issues corrected in time to make a run.
“Just win our division,” said Peters. “That’s farfetched right now, but if we get rolling and we get to the playoffs, you never know what will happen.”