King Dunlap said that he expects to start for left tackle Jason Peters this Sunday in Buffalo. Peters suffered what head coach Andy Reid described as a "pretty significant" hamstring strain Sunday against the 49ers.
That would mean Peters would not get the chance to go against his former team.
"He's kind of mad not about not being able to play, going back to Buffalo but I'll make it up for him," Dunlap said on Monday. "Usually with hamstrings it's two or three weeks, so I'm thinking probably this week and then next week and then we've got the bye. The same thing happened last year. We've got a road game this time instead of being at home."
Guard Kyle DeVan said it's up to the next man in line - in this case, Dunlap - to keep things moving.
"It's a big loss for us. Jason's a great player, great athlete, a leader within the offensive line and the offense," DeVan said. "You've got to play with that mentality, the next man up. We've got to play as a unit and we've got to play better."
The 6-9, 330-pound Dunlap started a career-high five games in 2010 and two of them were in place of Peters at left tackle. Dunlap has been the backup swing tackle so far this season, ready at any time to replace either Peters or right tackle Todd Herremans. On Sunday, Dunlap did use his enormous wingspan to swat down a David Akers field goal attempt that was recovered by safety Colt Anderson.
Being in the starting lineup, though, will limit Dunlap's reps with the field goal block team.
"It was pretty exciting. I waited a couple of years to get one," Dunlap said. "If it's a long (attempt), I might jump in there one time to get it."
A former seventh-round pick of the Eagles in 2008, Dunlap admitted struggling in training camp getting adjusted to new offensive line coach Howard Mudd's scheme. Dunlap is confident that he has Mudd's footwork and technique down.
"At this point, we've been working it for so long that everybody's got it down pat now," Dunlap said. "It's just sticking together and staying together as a team."
Dunlap will go against a Bills defense that isn't known for getting to the quarterback. The Bills are last in the league with just four sacks this season, but Dunlap knows that this Bills team isn't like the ones in recent years.
"They're a lot better than they used to," Dunlap said. "They're not a pass-rushing-type team, but they still get to the ball and get after it. It'll be a tough challenge for us. It's not going to be an easy game at all."
Coming off of three straight losses, Dunlap knows that he'll be expected to maintain the level of play at what has been one of the bright spots of the young season in Peters' performance. Overall, the mood of the team is still a positive one with lots of football on the horizon.
"Nobody's down at all. We've just got to do the small things better, just holding onto the football, scoring in the red zone," Dunlap said. "Everybody's got to start doing the small things a lot better and we'll be a better offensive team. We're beating ourselves at the end of games."
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