Few professional athletes have had a more successful comeback from injury than Adrian Peterson did last season. Like Peterson did last offseason, Robert Griffin III is working his way back from a serious knee injury. Naturally, Griffin has spoken to Peterson about the recovery process. That is far from the only NFL news of the day as we take a closer look at a few other injury comebacks and the latest news from OTAs.
Griffin is familiar with the ACL recovery process, having done it once during his college career, but he said he listens to others who have also been through the process. Griffin said the advice Peterson offered was similar to what others have given. Peterson recovered quickly enough to play a full season and he went on to win MVP honors. Redskins fans would be elated if RG3 were able to recover in a similar fashion, but the quarterback noted every player is different.
"I'm not Adrian. Adrian's not me. Everybody's body heals a little bit differently," Griffin said, via the Washington Post.
Griffin isn't he only Redskin recovering from surgery as running back Roy Helu is also working his way back. After a solid rookie campaign in 2011, Helu missed most of last season. He had surgery on his left foot in February and said he should be back in time for the start of training camp. When he returns, Helu will be fighting for a role in Washington's offense. Where he fits remains to be seen, but Hogs Haven has extensive breakdowns of all of Washington's offensive personnel groups and how players fit into the offense.
Like Griffin and Helu, Jason Peters is also working his way back from injury. Peters missed all of the 2012 season after ruptering his Achilles' tendon twice, but Philadelphia's All-Pro left tackle is recovering well. Peters' recovery is going so well, offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland compared him to the best players he's ever coached.
"Honestly, you wouldn't know Jason ever had an injury," Stoutland said. "For a guy his size, the leverage that he gains . . . he plays so low to the ground. Moves his feet so fast. Out of all the players I've ever coached, he's got the best balance and body control of anybody I've ever seen.''
A healthy Peters would be a major addition for the Eagles. Philadelphia drafted tackle Luke Johnson with the No. 4 pick in the NFL Draft, but as Bleeding Green Nation noted, a healthy Peters could mean Johnson begins his career at right tackle. That may not last long, however:
With Jason Peters reportedly healed and ready to go on the left, Johnson's career will start out on the right. However, Peters is only signed through 2014 and is set to make $20.75 million completely un-guaranteed. Assuming he does play out that contract, he'll be 33 and the Eagles could very well just move Johnson over to the left as his successor.
Monday was a busy day for offensive linemen news as Peters wasn't the only player making headlines. Tampa Bay's Donald Penn refuted reports that he failed to meet weight clauses in his contract, and he did so via Twitter. Penn tweeted that he weighs 330 pounds and is in the best shape he's been in a while. He also noted he only gave up four sacks last season. Penn's weight may be the story, but as Sander Philipse of Bucs Nation noted, Penn's play on the field will have a bigger impact on his future with the team:
He may have only given up four sacks, but given the overall scarcity of sacks that's not a great indicator of quality of play. And if you look at the tape it is obvious he didn't play his best football last season.
If Penn is indeed in great shape, he will have plenty of opportunity to show that with his play. Because ultimately, that's what will determine whether he's on the roster in 2014, not his weight.
The Green Bay Packers are making several moves on the offensive line and Evan Dietrich-Smith may be the key to it all. Dietrich-Smith is taking over as the starting center, allowing Green Bay to shuffle players along the offensive line. The former undrafted free agent played well as a fill-in center last season. With Dietrich-Smith at center, Bryan Bulaga is moving to left tackle where he will play next to left guard Josh Sitton. T.J. Lang will shift to right guard and the Packers will have a training camp battle for the right tackle spot. Acme Packing Company detailed the right tackle battle with five players currently in the mix.
The Packers aren't the only team shuffling players into new positions. The Texans are moving Brooks Reed to inside linebacker. Reed played the majority of his first two seasons at outside linebacker, but will now pair with Brian Cushing on the inside. As Battle Red Blog noted, moving Reed inside along with the addition of rookie Sam Montgomery should help improve Houston's defense:
On the field, I do expect Montgomery to lock down the starting outside linebacker gig, which allows Brooks Reed to move inside and gets the best 11 defenders on the field in base sets.
St. Louis is also shuffling players around in offseason workouts, including lining rookie wide receiver Tavon Austin up at running back. Austin was one of the most explosive players in the NFL Draft and the Rams are apparently looking for any way to get him the ball. Austin's speed and versatile skill set could lead to him lining up all over the field as the Rams try to create mismatches for the No. 8 pick. Austin has garnered a lot of headlines since coming to St. Louis but Turf Show Times picked a second-year wide receiver as the potential breakout player this season.