Oct 23, 2011; Detroit, MI, USA; Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Corey Peters (91) celebrates after sacking Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (not pictured) during the third quarter at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber- US PRESSWIRE

Falcons defensive tackle Corey Peters could return soon

Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Corey Peters was a huge part of Atlanta’s 2011 defense. The spot next to DT Jonathan Babineaux had long been a revolving door of role players, but Peters really took the bull by the horns and earned the position last year. He played really well, and was expected to be a major part of the Falcons defense for the future.

Unfortunately, Peters suffered a stress fracture in his foot during training camp, and missed a lot of practice time, and has been on the reserve/non-football injury list for the first six weeks of the season. But there is good news.

Peters is nearing full health, and the Falcons could activate him in time for their contest against the Eagles. Atlanta has a bye this week, and then must travel to Philadelphia. That gives Peters an additional week to get healthy, and the best part is that the team won’t miss him on the field during the bye.

There’s no guaranteeing he will be ready to go against the Eagles. There’s even an outside shot that he doesn’t rejoin the team at all this season. If he’s fully healthy, he will play again this season. Perhaps the biggest thing preventing him taking the field is getting into game shape. Peters hasn’t had any practice time the past six weeks, and while he has been working out extensively, he isn’t necessarily in game shape just yet.

When he does return, I wouldn’t expect him to play a majority of plays. The Falcons will ease him back into playing. But he will provide depth in a rotation with Vance Walker and Peria Jerry lining up next to Jonathan Babineaux. Keeping the defensive tackles fresh and able to make plays is a big thing, and having Peters in there would help.

It would also help what has been a dismal Falcons defense against the run. Atlanta needs all the help they can get playing the run, and Peters would certainly help in that department, not because he is so much better than the others in the lineup, but because his presence would provide depth and keep the entire defensive tackle rotation fresh. His return would be huge for Atlanta.

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