Jason Peters’ transition to guard has been aborted before the start of the regular season.
Eagles coach Doug Pederson told reporters Monday that Peters, the veteran lineman who manned the left tackle position for Philadelphia for 11 years, is going back to his roots to start 2020.
After seemingly playing his final game as an Eagle in 2019, Peters lingered on the open market for a good part of the offseason before returning to Philadelphia on a one-year deal with a new plan: transition to guard. The idea was intended to soften the blow of losing Pro Bowl guard Brandon Brooks, who suffered a torn Achilles while training during the offseason. It made sense until left tackle Andre Dillard suffered a season-ending biceps tear.
Suddenly, the Eagles’ backup plan needed its own backup. Serviceable guards are typically easier to come by, or at least easier to hide if a weakness on a line that is stronger elsewhere. Tackles, though, are on an island, and every mistake is easy to see from the comfort of a viewer’s couch.
Pederson’s staff is choosing experience over risk. Peters might not be as quick as he once was, but he’ll help the staff sleep better at night than the likes of Matt Pryor or a free agent signed off the street might. Pryor can instead step into the right guard position and face less scrutiny while also protected on either side by veterans Jason Kelce and Lane Johnson.
The strength of the edge is simply more important, especially for a team featuring a quarterback who has compiled his own history of untimely injuries. There’s a reason left tackles make the big money. Philadelphia is wisely choosing tackle over guard.
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