Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Corey Peters, who appeared pretty spry while jumping rope with children at a community function Tuesday, hopes that he can return quickly as his six-week stint on the reserve/non-football injury list is about to end.
Peters suffered a stress fracture while working out before the Falcons' offseason training program started.
"It was a little foot issue," Peters said in an radio interview with Tom Leach for his radio show "The Leach Report" in Kentucky. "It was a stress fracture, and I got it taken care of, and we are moving forward and been rehabbing, and hopefully, if everything continues to progress well, we'll be ready to play here after the six-week mark."
The Falcons play their sixth game Sunday and then have a bye before facing the Philadelphia Eagles on Oct. 28.
The team will have to some time to make a decision on Peters' return. Getting back in to football shape will be his biggest issue if the foot is fully healed.
"It takes some time," Falcons coach Mike Smith said Thursday. "You've got to work on that endurance and pushing the big bodies. It's going to take some time. Corey has been working hard. We've been trying with our athletic-performance guys to simulate it as much as possible, but there is nothing like going out there and practicing and getting 30 or 40 snaps."
Peters, if he can quickly return to form, could help the Falcons' run defense, which has sunk from sixth in the league to 27th. However, Smith doesn't appear to be in a hurry.
"It's going to take some time, but we're anxious to see where Corey is going to be when we can make that decision of when we want to start that 21-day period," Smith said.
Within 21 days of returning to practice from the non-football injury list, the player must be added to the active roster.
The Atlanta defense is giving up 142.8 yards per game, which ranks 27th in the league. The Denver Broncos' Willis McGahee (113) and the Washington Redskins' Alfred Morris (115) rushed for more than 100 yards on the unit.
Despite being 5-0 and having the best record in the NFC, there is a sense of urgency about improving the run defense.
"To me personally, it's embarrassing to be ranked where we are ranked because I know the type of guys that we have," safety William Moore said. "We have some tough running backs that we are going to be facing. It's not being physical, that's the problem. I don't know, we have to figure it out, and it's got to happen fast."