Jason Peters, take a seat next to Ryan Howard.
The Eagles’ Pro-Bowl left tackle ruptured the Achilles tendon in his right leg during offseason training in Texas last Tuesday. Peters is scheduled to have surgery Tuesday in Philadelphia by Dr. Steve Raikin of the Rothman Institute. He will miss the entire 2012 season.
An Achilles tear is one of the worst injuries to incur and can take up to two years to fully recover from. The Phillies’ Howard tore his Achilles back in October and still isn’t 100 percent. He is still struggling to put weight on his ankle and is looking at a likely mid-May or early June return.
Just a few hours before Peters’ injury news broke, the Eagles announced they had signed backup tackle King Dunlap to a one-year deal. Dunlap has served as a fill-in at left tackle at times. He started two games in 2011, including one at left tackle. He’s played in 38 games over the past three seasons.
Peters, of course, is the Eagles’ best offensive lineman and arguably the best left tackle in football. Dunlap appears to be the front-runner to take his spot right now, or the team could slide Todd Herremans over to left tackle and take a chance on Mike Gibson or Julian Vandervelde on the right side. The Eagles traded former right tackle Winston Justice to free up salary space.
The Eagles also have a cupboard full of second- and third-round picks that they could package if they wanted to trade up in the NFL draft. USC’s Matt Kalil is the top-rated tackle, but he’ll likely be off the board before the Eagles pick at No. 15. Iowa’s Riley Reiff or Ohio State’s Mike Adams should be there when the Birds pick and are considered NFL-ready.