The site of Jason Peters hobbling off the field has become a common one for Eagles fans.
Peters hasn't missed a game this year, but he's been on the Eagles' injury report most weeks either with his quad injury or torn biceps, and he's been forced out of several games early.
It's too early to know what all of this means for J.P.'s future, but Doug Pederson spoke Wednesday about what he called "an ongoing theme" with Peters' injury issues:
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I think J.P., when he's in there, he does well. I think there's probably maybe some frustration that he can't get quite healthy enough. And listen, that's just the nature of this game. Everybody is going to be nicked up, and in his case it's kind of been an ongoing theme each week. He battles through it. He comes in and gets his work in and he puts himself in a position to help us on Sundays. It'll be no different this week. But I think maybe deep down, any time I think a player feels that every single week, at some point you get a little frustrated because you definitely want to be healthier.
Peters has played all the offensive snaps in just six of 15 games, and he's had games where he's missed 19, 33, 71 and 77 snaps. But he has played at least 90 percent of the snaps in 11 of 15 games, and before Sunday against the Texans, he had played in 361 of 369 snaps over the six games following the bye.
Here's what his snap counts have looked like so far:
Snaps played/Total snaps
Falcons: 71/72 [99%]
at Buccaneers: 8/79 [10%]
Colts: 82/82 [100%]
at Titans: 78/78 [100%]
Vikings: 55/59 [93%]
at Giants: 38/71 [54%]
Panthers: 61/67 [91%]
at Jaguars: 43/62 [69%]
Cowboys: 62/62 [100%]
at Saints: 51/51 [100%]
Giants: 65/65 [100%]
Redskins: 70/75 [93%]
at Cowboys: 52/52 [100%]
at Rams: 61/64 [95%]
Texans: 5/82 [7%]
Last year, Peters missed the last nine regular-season games and the playoffs with a torn ACL and missed significant snaps in two other games.
That means going back to opening day last year, Peters has played the bulk of only 16 of 32 games.
Peters left the Texans game Sunday with the same quad injury that's dogged him much of this year. Pederson said he thinks Peters will be able to play Sunday in the season finale at Washington.
But who knows for how long?
Halapoulivaati Vaitai, the starter in place of Peters the second half of last year and in the postseason, has played 327 snaps this year, about a third of them in place of Lane Johnson at right tackle against the Jaguars and Cowboys, the rest in place of Peters.
His play all year has been uneven, although he seems to play better - understandably - when he has a full week to prepare instead of replacing Peters in mid-stream.
Pederson was blunt about Big V's performance Sunday against Jadeveon Clowney:
I thought there were some highs and lows with Big V. He had a tough task. We know Clowney is a tremendous football player and he's very active, and we knew that going in. … To come in that early in that football game, it's a credit to him, again. But there were some (issues). I think as the game went on, though, he did settle down and played a little bit better.
Pederson won't talk about the future until the season's over, but the Eagles have some decisions to make here.
Do you bring back Peter despite his trouble staying on the field?
If you don't, do you move Johnson over to left tackle or leave him at right tackle, where he's one of the best in the NFL?
Can Big V be consistent enough to be a starter on either side?
Is promising but inexperienced Jordan Mailata a viable candidate to man right tackle as early as 2019?
If not, where can you find somebody to take Peters' (or Johnson's) spot?
A lot of questions and no real answers.
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