The Cardinals hit the practice field in pads for the first time Tuesday, and after re-signing with the team late Monday afternoon, nose tackle Corey Peters was all smiles.
Peters did not practice Tuesday and joined the team on the sideline when he arrived late in practice along with injured linemate Jordan Phillips. Head coach Kliff Kingsbury said Peters would begin practicing “at some point this week.” Peters was not placed on active/physically unable to perform Tuesday.
When Kingsbury spoke to the media Monday afternoon, Peters hadn’t signed yet, but it was clear it was imminent,
When asked how it might be for Peters to jump right into working after spending the offseason rehabbing his knee injury rather than preparing to play football, Kingsbury said, “I think he'll hit the ground running. He's a very savvy player, very smart player. And he was instrumental and helping coach up some of those younger players. Technique, fundamentals, tips at the line of scrimmage, and so I don't think he'll skip a beat.”
Peters had been a leader on and off the field, and his absence was felt after he was injured in the team’s Week 10 win over Buffalo that gave the Cardinals a 6-3 record. No one has to be reminded that the record for the remainder of the season was 2-5.
“You hate it for a guy like that, what he's about, how hard he worked,” Kingsbury said of Peters missing the rest of the season. “He's earned every bit of everything he's gotten in this league, and then the leadership that we lost in that locker room when he went away. I mean, you can't replace something like that.”
Linemate Zach Allen was glad Peters is back. After practice Tuesday, Allen said “I mean, Corey's the best, you guys know that. Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee; he's just one of my favorite teammates ever. To have him back everybody last night and today were just ecstatic. So now, we just can't wait for him to be full go. Just having him in the locker room, just what he does for the team is incredible. We love him.”
Continuing his accolades for Peters, the head coach concluded, “Since I've been here, he's played really, really well for us. The quick twitch. Can play the nose, he can play the three (technique) and then the leadership, that work ethic all the practice habits are through the roof for those young guys. He was really good for Leki (Fotu) and Rashard (Lawrence) last year and would continue to be so if he rejoins the team.”
Now, it’s not an “if” as Peters tries to pick up where he left off last November.