Bills' Peters passes physical, will start to work with team
"He's ready to go," coach Dick Jauron said following Buffalo's 34-10 win over the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday. "We just have to see how long it takes him to get into football shape."
Peters, who was not seen at the game, risked losing a paycheck of more than $191,000 -- one-seventeenth of his $3.25 million base salary for this season -- if he did not report before Sunday. He was looking to force the team into restructuring his deal that has three years remaining.
The Bills have already fined him about $550,000 for missing training camp, which opened July 25, as well as more than $8,600 for missing two mandatory minicamp sessions in June.
"He's going to help," receiver Lee Evans said after the game. "He'll have to work his way in a little bit, but it's certainly a big, big step for our offensive line. It was good to see him."
The Bills have requested a two-game roster exemption from the NFL while Peters readies himself. He had offseason surgery to repair a sports hernia before embarking on his holdout.
"Jason means a lot to our team," safety Donte Whitner said. "For him to come in, he gives our offensive line another boost of confidence."
There actually may not be a big rush for Peters to get back into the lineup after Buffalo's dominant performance against the Seahawks. The revamped offensive line, which had Langston Walker in Peters' left tackle spot and Kirk Chambers at Walker's normal right tackle slot, was able to provide solid protection for quarterback Trent Edwards, who was sacked just once.
Running back Marshawn Lynch, meanwhile, gained 76 yards on the ground.
"They put together a pretty good protection scheme," said Seahawks defensive end Patrick Kerney, who ranked second in the league with 14½ sacks last season.
Signed by the Bills as an undrafted rookie free agent out of Arkansas in 2004, Peters broke in with Buffalo as a tight end before being converted to tackle the following year. He started nine games at right tackle in 2005 before he was switched to the left side midway through the 2006 season.
Peters has an outside chance of being available for Buffalo's next game at Jacksonville. If he doesn't play, he'll likely make his season debut in Week 3 at home against Oakland.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
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