Atlanta Falcons: Can DT Corey Peters Help on Sunday?

Knox Bardeen@knoxbardeenNFC South Lead WriterOctober 28, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 27: Toby Gerhart #32 of the Minnesota Vikings is gang tackled by James Sanders #36, Curtis Lofton #50, John Abraham #55, and Corey Peters #91 of the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome on November 27, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

The Atlanta Falcons announced Friday that they were activating defensive tackle Corey Peters from the physically unable-to-perform list.

Peters told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he was running to stay in shape during the offseason and injured his foot. The stress fracture forced Peters to miss organized team activities (OTAs), minicamp, training camp, the preseason and the first six weeks of the regular season.

Now that Peters has been activated from the PUP list, he’s eligible to play Sunday in Philadelphia against the Eagles.

But will he?

Peters admitted to the AJC that he’s not in football shape yet, and for an almost 300-pound lineman, getting in peak condition takes some time.

But it’s hard to believe that the Falcons would have activated him from the PUP list—Atlanta had three weeks to make that decision, but made the decision earlier than expected—if the team weren’t planning on using him Sunday.

If the Falcons do use Peters against the Eagles (and I believe they will), it won’t be in a full rotation. Since he’s not 100 percent yet, look for Peters to be in the game on a very limited number of snaps. I expect him to play in running situations.

Last year when Peters was healthy, the Falcons after Week 4 were a top-10 run defense. Atlanta finished the season ranked sixth, giving up just 97 yards on the ground.

This season the Falcons rank 28th and give up 143.8 yards per game on average.

Peria Jerry and Vance Walker have done a good job filling in for Peters through the first six weeks of the season. But Peters is an explosive, lane-clogging tackle that can make a difference when facing stellar running backs like LeSean McCoy.

During practice this week, Peters worked with the first team (another bit of foreshadowing that the team plans to use him Sunday), according to the AJC.

Just don’t expect Peters to be on the field with the first team for the entire game. He’ll be very limited.