When Jason Peters was at the Eagles walk through this week, it sparked some to question if the Pro-Bowl tackle could be returning soon.
Not so fast, said Andy Reid.
“He had just worked out and he came out to support the guys," Reid said.
Whether or not Peters plays this year in unclear. When asked about it on Wednesday, Reid would not commit one way or another. Reid did say there was a chance, adding that Peters has been working hard to get back on this field.
"He’s building up to play," Reid said. "His final goal is to play. So he’s doing more work with the trainers as far as field drills and lateral cutting, trying to make sure he has all that down and feels comfortable with it.”
At 3-7, however, the question should not be if Peters will play, but whether or not he should play. When word first came out that the possibility of Peters returning was realistic, some fans hoped that if the team could hold it together until Peters got back on the field, adding a Pro-Bowl tackle would dramatically help the team come playoff time.
Playoff time is not coming, however, which means Howie Roseman and Jeffrey Lurie need to ask themselves if it is worth it to put Peters back out on the field.
Make no mistake about it- Reid will play Peters when he is ready. Reid, who is a players coach, won't force Peters to sit out after watching Peters work hard to return. It is that same attitude that makes Reid say that Michael Vick is still the starter, and will be when he is healthy.
Not playing Vick is a move for the future. The team needs to see Nick Foles so they know what they have. With Peters, the same logic could be made- the Eagles need to see if he has the same speed and athleticism that made him one of- if not the best- tackles in the game. If Peters looks slow, the team might be wise to address the position in the off-season.
Going that route, however, would not be the wise decision. Realistically, watching Peters play the final 2-3 games will not give the team an accurate depiction of what kind of player Peters will be next year. It also would just put him at risk of re-injuring himself in a game that means nothing.
If Reid decides to go that route, Roseman and Lurie need to take it out of his hands. The Eagles have made a big investment in Peters and need him 100% next year- or as close as he can be.
Follow Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks