The hatchet’s been buried, at least for now.
Buffalo announced Saturday that Jason Peters has been activated to the 53-man roster, and he is expected to start today at Jacksonville.
Head coach Dick Jauron hasn’t explicitly said that Peters will start at his left tackle spot, but the depth chart on the team’s website lists him as the starter – facing off against the Jaguars’ Paul Spicer.
It’d sure be a drastic shift from the standoff Peters and the team endured all off-season. Buffalo’s linchpin tackle skipped all minicamp and training camp sessions in pursuit of a long-term extension. He is currently the third-highest paid lineman on the Bills behind Derrick Dockery and Langston Walker. The two sides will probably gradually get into contract talks as the season progresses. Peters is currently in the third year of a five-year, $15 million deal.
In Peters’ absence, Walker has started on Trent Edwards’ blindside.
Peters is reportedly in good shape and he has spent extra time with Edwards to pick up all X 'n O nuances.
He says he's ready.
"I know all of the plays, all of the checks, all of the audibles, the snap counts, the cadences, no-huddle plays, I know all of that," Peters said Friday.
Jason Peters hasn’t played an NFL game in quite awhile – Dec. 23, 2007. In that home game against the New York Giants, Peters suffered a season-ending groin injury. He had off-season surgery to repair a sports hernia, but apparently the Bills aren’t worried about rust.
And apparently the angst between Peters and the Bills has dwindled - from an on-field business perspective.
Eventually, Jauron wasn’t going have a choice. His best lineman would need to start sooner, rather than later.
But this move could backfire. Jacksonville’s no easy place to play. It’s going to be hot in Jags country – temperatures will hover around 90 degrees. Jack Del Rio’s bunch will no doubt be hungry, too. Look for him to send everything and the kitchen sink at Edwards and the Bills’ young offense. Last week’s frustrating loss against Tennessee surely added fuel to the fire.
Is Peters ready for this environment after couching around for so long? Maybe. But it’s not like the Bills’ restructured offensive line was a disaster last week. Walker was solid at left tackle and Kirk Chambers sufficed just fine in Walker’s regular spot at right tackle – all against a team that ranked fourth in the NFL in sacks last season.
Suddenly sticking Peters back into the lineup after only a week of practice could blow up in Buffalo’s face. Aside from the obvious motivation factors mudding Peters down, he’s probably not ready for the workload yet physically. While it’s great to have the team’s best player back on the roster, Jauron shouldn’t rush anything.
Buffalo is completely banking on Peters’ athletic ability today. The guy did make the atypical tight end-to-left tackle switch. Maybe he doesn’t need weeks of preparation. Just seems like a colossal risk to take for a team on the brink of being an elite force in the AFC.
Past articles on Jason Peters' saga here...