The health of the offensive line is obviously a major issue heading into the 2013 season. The Eagles lost Todd Herremans (dislocated foot), Jason Peters (ruptured Achilles) and Jason Kelce (torn MCL, partially torn ACL) to serious injuries in 2012. Their ability to rebound will be critical if Chip Kelly wants to experience some semblance of success in his first year at the helm.
With the offseason program set to begin on April 1 and the first minicamp a little over two weeks away, we checked in on the triumvirate’s status.
Kelce appears to be the furthest away.
“Not all healed up yet, I’m in the process of it,” said Kelce at Herremans’ charity event Thursday night. “Right now I’m at five months post-surgery, six months post-injury.
“Right now we’re hoping I’ll be able to do some things in this first mini-camp, but even that is more me trying to press them to let me do stuff. I think they are trying to take it safer. I’m probably about a month, month-and-a-half before I am cleared for [all] football activity. I am full-go in the weight room, full-go in the training room. On the field is the last area where I still have to go full-go.”
If that timetable holds up, Kelce could conceivably be back when OTAs begin the second week of May.
Herremans expects to be ready out of the gates. The 30-year-old sustained a dislocated bone, some fractures and torn ligaments in his right foot after landing awkwardly against the Saints in early November. The rehab process has been extensive and, while he has been cleared to participate in the offseason workouts, it will likely take some time to regain his form.
“It will probably take a couple weeks of football activity every day until it feels normal,” said Herremans.
The next question is: where will Herremans play? That, like much with the new head coach, is still a mystery.
“He’ll probably move us all around quite a bit,” said Herremans. “Who knows? Maybe it depends on who our quarterback is. Basically I’m just trying to go in there and win a job back.”
Herremans was asked where he is at his best.
“That’s a tough question,” he said. “I think I had a really good year at guard a few years ago and I think I played really well at tackle two years ago. Last year, my tackle play was sub-par. I don’t really know what to attribute it to — maybe I let myself slip a little bit. But I’m just excited. I’ve been working hard all offseason to get back from injury, and come back better this year.”
He should have his Pro-Bowl left tackle back with him. Peters initially ruptured his Achilles this time last year while working out, then again in May when his Roll-A-Bout allegedly broke, and missed the entire 2012 campaign. Signs point to him now being healthy.
“I talked to Jason, he’s just as excited as I am — probably more so,” said Herremans. “He is cleared and said he is ready to rock. Sitting out from football for a whole year kind of makes you realize how much you miss it, and I know he is itching to get back.”
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