And the first devastating blow to the Eagles 2012 campaign has been delivered... in March.
Geoff Mosher of the Delaware News Journal reports left tackle Jason Peters has suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon, which will require surgery on Tuesday. As we have seen and heard far too much of late, this particular injury has a long recovery time, so it seems likely the four-time Pro Bowler could miss the entire season.
The news comes on the heels of an announcement the Eagles agreed to a one-year contract with King Dunlap. Two hours ago, it was an innocent move that continued the team's off-season's theme of taking care of their own.
Now, Dunlap appears to be the starting left tackle.
Peters is widely considered the best left tackle in football today. Since coming over from the Buffalo Bills for a first-round pick in '09, Peters has gradually improved every season, and has been especially good since having a mid-season procedure on his knee in 2010. He is a lock-down player in pass protection, and a dominant run blocker with the athleticism to finish defenders on the second and even the third level.
At this point, Peters has not been officially ruled out to return this season. The Eagles have options. Peters could begin the season on the physically unable to perform list, which would give the team until Week 10 to add him to the full roster.
In the meantime, the massive 6-9, 330-lbs. Dunlap has developed into a reliable replacement player. He's made seven starts over the past two seasons, including at both the left and right tackle positions, as well as left guard. He played well enough we thought there might be some interest in his services on the free agent market, and it's a small comfort knowing he is returning.
A very small comfort. Just as the Eagles were getting their ducks in a row by re-signing Evan Mathis to keep the offensive line intact, they are dealt a potentially catastrophic injury to their best player. This news is really harshing our buzz.
More to come...