Peters' return a boost for Falcons' run D

October, 22, 2012
10/22/12
3:15
PM ET
There’s some good news for an Atlanta defense that ranks 28th in the NFL against the run.

Defensive tackle Corey Peters, who missed the first six weeks of the season with a foot injury, began practicing Monday as the Falcons returned from their bye.

I’m not sure that automatically means Peters will be activated for Sunday’s game at Philadelphia. Teams usually like to make sure players who have missed long stretches have time to get into “football shape’’ and that’s more of a challenge with a large defensive lineman than it is with players at some other positions.

In a best-case scenario, I could see the Falcons activating Peters for Sunday and letting him participate in a limited number of plays. But I think it’s more likely it’ll be another week or two before we really get to see Peters play much.

Either way, this is good news for the Falcons. Peria Jerry and Vance Walker have been playing in Peters’ place. Each of them have had a few bright moments, but they’re not the consistent run stuffer that Peters was before the injury.

Assuming Peters gets back to being the player he was, Atlanta’s run defense should improve. But simply adding Peters to the mix isn’t going to turn everything around.

I feel pretty safe in guessing that defensive coordinator Mike Nolan spent some time during the bye week trying to think of ways for the linebackers to become more productive against the run.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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