ST. PAUL, Minn. — Jason Peters is finally at the Super Bowl.
He wants to play in it next year.
The 36-year-old left tackle is in Minnesota this week but, because of a knee injury, has been relegated to spectator and support system for his teammates. But he's already rehabbing and plans to play again next season.
"I'm definitely not going out like that," Peters said on Monday night. "I'll be back better than ever."
Wearing cool shades inside the Xcel Energy Center and sporting his trademark clean beard for the media night circus, Peters spoke publicly for the first time since he tore his ACL and MCL against Washington on Oct. 23.
The Eagles lost Peters back in October the same day they also lost middle linebacker Jordan Hicks. Since then, the team also lost Carson Wentz but has continued to roll and is now playing in the Super Bowl in just a few days. He's enjoyed watching his teammates find success and celebrate it.
As for himself, Peters said he's never had any doubts about returning to play again.
"That ain't how I'm built," Peters explained. "That ain't how I'm built and I just take it and anytime I get injured, I take it like it was meant to happen to me and I take it and roll with it."
Even though Peters can't play in Sunday's Super Bowl, he said getting to this point is still a "dream come true." Peters has played in three career playoff games and has suffered three losses. He spoke openly last season about hoping the Eagles would be able to play for a championship before his career was over.
On Monday night, Peters called himself "year to year" but said he'll definitely be back for the 2018 season; he expects to be ready for the start of the season. Even though Halapoulivaati Vaitai has played well in his absence, Peters was playing at a Pro Bowl level before the injury and will likely one day be enshrined in Canton. He's under contract for two more seasons.
Really, a lot of Vaitai's success can probably be attributed to Peters, who has been coaching him from the moment his own season ended in October. Peters said Vaitai is a great player who just needs to keep his confidence high.
"I embraced [my new role] it as soon as I went down," Peters said. "I knew I was going to have to help Big V and Lane (Johnson) and everybody to stick together and that's what I've been doing. So far, so good."
When asked if coaching is in his future, Peters said he wasn't sure. He'll have to see when he gets to that point.
For now, though, he's focused on his rehab and playing again next season. The Eagles' talent and success this season have certainly rejuvenated the 36-year-old.
"Of course," he said. "We're in the Super Bowl and hopefully we can make another run for it. First we gotta take care of this one and get a W."