It was a painful blow for Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Corey Peters to absorb.
He tore his Achilles at the end of his best NFL season and underwent surgery.
Now, Peters is determined to rehabilitate his Achilles and make a strong return for next season. An unrestricted free agent and former third-round draft pick from Kentucky, Peters recorded a career-high five sacks and 46 tackles.
“I'm feeling pretty good,” Peters told National Football Post in a telephone interview. “I just had the surgery and I'm at home recovering. It's a long process, so we have enough time to really take our time and get everything corrected the right way. I've had no issues. Everything went pretty much as planned. I'm hoping to make a full recovery.”
Dr. Robert Anderson, the Carolina Panthers' team doctor, performed the procedure.
A 6-foot-3, 305-pounder who just finished his fourth NFL season, Peters hasn't closed the door on potentially returning to Atlanta and is keeping an open mind about his next destination.
“We're looking forward to free agency and hopefully being able to get another deal,” Peters said. “I've enjoyed playing with the Falcons. I feel like I'm a good fit for any defense. I'm flexible. I can do a variety of things. I'm not too much worried about it. I've been incredibly blessed.”
Peters is hoping to return in time for training camp.
When he tore his Achilles, Falcons coach Mike Smith predicted six to eight months for his rehabilitation.
“This is going to be a tough offseason for Corey,” Smith said. “The rehabilitation time for an Achilles injury is going to put us close to the beginning of next season, so he’s going to have to get it going and start hitting it. But he is a tough guy and we all feel for Corey. It's a tough injury to have.”
Peters recorded a sack of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick before getting hurt.
“I'm going to play hard,” Peters said. “I'm a very smart player. I try to take care of my responsibilities. I will continue to grow and I still have some room to improve.”
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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun.