Eagles head coach Doug Pederson gave an update on Philadelphia’s kicker situation on Monday.
Jake Elliott is in the NFL’s mandatory concussion protocol after banging his head in the Eagles’ win over the Cowboys. The injury occurred on the opening kickoff, but Elliott wasn’t pulled from the game until after he missed a 34-yard field goal attempt.
Pederson said the Eagles haven’t made a decision on Elliott’s status yet. It’s entirely possible he could clear the concussion protocol before Sunday’s home game against the Chicago Bears. But there’s no guarantee.
It’s interesting, then, because the Eagles do still have Caleb Sturgis on injured reserve. He’s eligible to come off that list since it’s been more than eight weeks since he was placed on IR. But it doesn’t sound like Pederson is necessarily in a rush to do that. When asked if Elliott is the team’s kicker moving forward, he sounded committed to the rookie.
Elliott’s 34-yard field goal miss wasn’t his only failed attempt in recent weeks. He’s also missed a few 33-yard extra point tries. Philadelphia recently worked out some long snappers, so maybe that suggestions Elliott isn’t the whole problem.
In any case, here’s hoping Elliott can get back on track and be healthy enough to play this week. Having to bring in a new kicker would force the Eagles to make a roster move.
Or the Eagles can always just rely on backup linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill, who did a great job kicking off against Dallas! (Or at least relative to expectations.) The Eagles didn’t let him try a field goal or extra point, though. It’d be hard to count on him in that role.
Here’s everything Pederson had to say about the Eagles’ kicker situation on Monday.
Q: WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT JAKE ELLIOTT AND WOULD YOU BRING BACK CALEB STURGIS IF HE CAN’T KICK THIS WEEKEND?
Pederson: Well, first of all, with Jake, he’s in our [concussion] protocol, obviously, so we’ll evaluate him more. We haven’t made any decisions yet this week. We’ve still got a couple of days before we have to make any decisions on kickers.
Q: IS CALEB STURGIS HEALTHY?
Pederson: He’s continuing to rehab, obviously. He’s begun a kicking regiment. So, yeah, he’s getting himself back, back to where he was prior to the [quadricep] injury, so he’s close.
Q: WHEN YOU SAY HE’S CLOSE, COULD HE PLAY IF YOU NEED HIM ON SUNDAY?
Pederson: Well, again, you’re talking about roster spots and making moves and things of that nature. We’re not there yet. So we’re going to continue these discussions the next couple of days.
Q: IS IT EITHER JAKE OR CALEB, OR IS THERE A “PLAN C?” HOW DO YOU SEE IT?
Pederson: Well, I think moving forward as we continue to evaluate this week, I think, obviously we’ll find out more in the next couple days with Jake. And I don’t want to put myself in a box but we’ll keep all the options open right now and still have conversations. But it kind of goes back to the same old thing, we still have a couple of days here, today and tomorrow, evaluate Jake, see where everybody’s at. Still a little while before we play Sunday, and we’ll make a decision as we go.
Q: HAS A DECISION BEEN MADE MOVING FORWARD THAT JAKE IS YOUR GUY IF HE’S HEALTHY?
Pederson: I think so, you know. If he’s healthy and can play, you hate to disrupt that right now. So, I’d have to say yes to that.