FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — Corey Peters battled doubts about his future in the NFL after he tore his Achilles tendon late last season.

Eight months later, the defensive tackle is back on the practice fields and says he's expecting to play when the Atlanta Falcons open their regular season on Sept. 7 against the Saints.

Peters said Tuesday he also fought "a little bit of depression" following the devastating injury. His confidence has been boosted by his return to practice this week. He says he feels strong and no longer has to worry about the Achilles.

Peters set a career high with five sacks last year while starting in 15 games. He is a fifth-year player but says he feels almost like a rookie in his return.