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Corey Peters Gets His Wish To Run It Back With Cardinals

Notes: Prater has ability to kick off; team signs offensive lineman

Defensive lineman Corey Peters rushes up the middle against the Seahawks during a home win against Seattle last season.
Defensive lineman Corey Peters rushes up the middle against the Seahawks during a home win against Seattle last season.

A week ago, Corey Peters was home watching the Olympics, in awe of the way horses could clear their jumps in the equestrian events and also how the riders could stay on the horses when they did.

"I was trying to figure out if there was any sport I could potentially get good enough to be in the Olympics," the defensive lineman said. "Maybe shooting … definitely something not athletic."

The Olympic dream is on hold for now, with Peters back with the Cardinals to play a 12th NFL season after re-signing with the team Tuesday – something he acknowledged he didn't really expect after tearing his patellar tendon in the ninth game last season, the final year of his contract.

But "this was obviously what I was hoping for," Peters added. "It's a wonderful surprise to me."

The veteran said about five or six teams had called with some level of interest, although he said you could never be sure at what level. When the Cards called, they asked him to visit and work out, and had a plan to get him back into the mix. That's all he needed to know.

He said he is 100 percent recovered from the injury and able to do everything he needs, although he is not yet in football shape. He said he hopes to be back on the practice field by the end of the week.

"First and foremost we'll see how he's feeling and ease him into it," coach Kliff Kingsbury said. "He knows our playbook, we know what he's about as a player and a person, and we'll just see where he fits in."

The comeback from the serious injury was, unfortunately, not new for Peters. He tore his Achilles once when he played for the Falcons, and lost his entire first season with the Cardinals in 2015 when he tore the Achilles again in training camp.

So he knew the kind of mental fortitude it would take to come back, and monotonous work – lots of split squats and lunges – "stuff I hated even before the injury."

But now, he's back.

"You learn to stop feeling sorry for yourself more quickly," Peters said. "That feeling is always there a little bit."


One of the duties Peters has held in the past is as the Cardinals' representative for the NFL Players Association. Peters said he did not want to be the rep anymore.

"I just have some disagreements with the leadership of the NFLPA," Peters said.

Asked to elaborate, Peters said it was about "guys' intent."

"I want to make sure the best intentions of the players is always put forward and I'm not sure that's the case," he said.


Assistant head coach/special teams coordinator Jeff Rodgers coached kicker Matt Prater when the two were in Denver and when Prater was still kicking off regularly.

Prater has not done much kicking off since he went to Detroit in 2014, a long stretch. But his leg remains strong, Rodgers said – he has booted a handful of 60-yard field goals since arriving in Arizona this offseason – and he is a viable candidate.

"He's as good a kickoff guy as I've had," Rodgers said, noting that the Cards will still continue to evaluate options this early in camp. "It's not like he can't."


The Cardinals signed offensive lineman Ryan Pope Wednesday. The 6-foot-7, 315-pounder has spent time with the 49ers, Jaguars, Packers and Lions since going undrafted out of San Diego State in 2019.