Eagles

Possible kicker options for Eagles to replace injured Caleb Sturgis

Possible kicker options for Eagles to replace injured Caleb Sturgis

Word broke Monday after Doug Pederson’s press conference that kicker Caleb Sturgis is expected to miss several weeks with a quad strain in his plant leg.

The Eagles signed Sturgis on Sept. 28, 2015 following a season-ending injury to Cody Parkey and he's been a solid addition ever since, eventually beating out Parkey for the job. With the Eagles, Sturgis has converted 56 of 66 field goal attempts — with a long of 55 yards — and 66 of 70 extra points.

There were 14 NFL kickers cut by NFL teams this preseason. Here’s a look at all 14 and who could be available for the Birds:

Mike Meyer — Meyer was waived by the Falcons and has been a member of two practice squads, in 2015 and 2017, but has yet to play in in NFL game.

Roberto Aguayo — A highly-publicized second-round selection by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2016, Aguayo was waived by both the Bucs and the Bears within a month. The three-time All-American for Florida State has gone 22 for 31 in his NFL career.

Jake Elliott — A fifth-round pick this season by the Cincinnati Bengals out of the University of Memphis, Elliott lost the job to veteran kicker Randy Bullock out of camp. The 2015 All-American connected on 21 of 26 field goals for the Tigers in 2016 and hit a program-record 81 during his career.

Cody Parkey — The former Eagles kicker, who was waived by the Cleveland Browns, has been signed by the Miami Dolphins. He's not available. 

Nick Novak — Novak is the most experienced kicker on the list. Since 2005, Novak has appeared in 111 NFL games with five different teams and has made 82.8 percent of his career attempts. Novak went 35 for 41 with a long of 53 yards for the Houston Texans in 2016 but was waived in favor of Ka'imi Fairbairn.

Sam Ficken — Known for kicking at Penn State, Ficken was waived by the Kansas City Chiefs in early September. He has not appeared in an NFL game.

Josh Lambo — Lambo caught on with the San Diego Chargers for two seasons before losing out to Younghoe Koo during camp. Lambo has connected on 52 of 64 kicks during his two-year career.

Travis Coons — Coons was a member of the Cleveland Browns for two seasons in 2014-15. He has connected on 28 of 32 field goals, with a long of only 47 yards. He tried out for the Los Angeles Rams this season and was waived in early September.

Marshall Koehn — Koehn made 77.8 percent of his kicks in college. He was a member of the Dolphins' practice squad in 2016 and was waived by the Minnesota Vikings in early September.

Mike Nugent — Drafted in the second round after a standout career at Ohio State in 2005, Nugent has played in 153 NFL games for the Bengals, Buccaneers and New York Jets. He has made 80.8 percent of his kicks lifetime, but struggled the past three seasons, finishing below 80 percent in two of them with Cincinnati.

Ross Martin — Martin is Duke's leader in field goals made (78) and highest field goal percentage (89.3 percent). He spent last season on the Jets' practice squad and did not make the team out of camp this season.

Giorgio Tavecchio — Tavecchio was released by the Oakland Raiders out of camp but was added to the 53-man roster when Sebastian Janikowski went down with an injury. In Week 1, he became the first player in league history to hit two 50-plus yard field goals ​in his NFL debut.

Nick Rose — Rose was released by the Falcons in 2016 and again by the San Francisco 49ers in early September. He has not appeared in an NFL game.

Zach Hocker — Drafted in the seventh round in 2014 out of the University of Arkansas, Hocker signed a four-year deal with the Washington Redskins but was released during final roster cuts before the 2014 season. He has since kicked 14 field goals in the NFL, connecting on 10 of them, but hasn’t appeared in a game since 2015. He was waived by the Buccaneers in September.

5 key matchups Eagles need to win to beat Redskins again

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5 key matchups Eagles need to win to beat Redskins again

The Eagles finally snapped the five-game losing streak to Washington in the season opener on Sept. 10. 

Now they have a chance to start a streak of their own. 

Both teams have found success after that 30-17 Eagles win in the opener. The Eagles are 5-1 with the best record in the NFC, while Washington is 3-2 and second in the NFC East. 

With a win on Monday night at the Linc, the Eagles would be 6-1 and would put another game between them and their closest division opponent. So it could be a big boost (see story)

But remember, these division games aren't normally easy and until this season's opener, Washington had their number. 

Here are five matchups to watch on Monday night: 

Zach Ertz vs. Washington's safeties 
Washington hasn't been able to stop Ertz yet, so this is still a huge matchup problem. In the opener, he caught eight passes for 93 yards. That game kicked off what has already been an incredible season for the tight end. 

In nine career games against the division foe, Ertz has 54 catches for 531 yards. Ertz likes playing against Washington and it's not just his crazy numbers (see story)

And it's not just Ertz. Washington has struggled against tight ends all season. They lead the league in yards surrendered to opposing tight ends with 407 on 29 catches, with two touchdowns. 

Brandon Scherff vs. Fletcher Cox
Washington coach Jay Gruden admitted his team was beaten physically in the first meeting between these two. That started with Cox, who had a huge strip sack on Kirk Cousins in the first quarter. Because Scherff is a Pro Bowl guard, there's a good chance Cox will actually see plenty of 1-on-1 against him on Monday. He'll need to beat Scherff again. 

Scherff has been really good since Washington used the fifth overall pick on him in 2015, but this is his biggest test. And he'll get it twice per season in the next few years. 

"I think the Redskins have a fine offensive line," Eagles DC Jim Schwartz said. "It's going to be one of our biggest challenges." 

Morgan Moses vs. Brandon Graham 
For what it's worth, Moses is ProFootballFocus' 17th ranked offensive guard. That's not great but he's not usually a liability and he's not a bad right tackle. But Graham absolutely spanked him the first time these two teams met. 

In that game, Graham had two sacks, two tackles for loss and a forced fumble. If he has this kind of impact again, it's going to be a long day for Moses. 

LeGarrette Blount vs. Redskins' run D
Blount had just 46 yards on 14 carries in the first meeting but since then, he's really come on and Doug Pederson has shown a devotion to finding balance in his offense. 

Washington has been pretty good against the run, giving up 88 yards per game (eighth in the league). But they'll be without first-round pick Jonathan Allen, one of their top defensive linemen. 

Eagles' WRs vs. Washington's banged up corners
If Blount isn't heavily involved in the game plan on Monday it might be because Pederson sees opportunity in the passing game. Washington's starting cornerbacks Josh Norman (rib fracture) has been ruled out and Bashaud Breeland (knee) is questionable. 

Even if Breeland plays, he won't be 100 percent and they'll definitely miss Norman. Even though the backups have played pretty well, Carson Wentz will probably test this banged up Washington secondary early and often. 

If Washington is without both of their starting corners — or even if Breeland plays — expect Pederson to attack their backups. It could be a big day for the Eagles' passing game. 

Gunn on One: Brandon Graham on Eagles' hot start, slowing down Chris Thompson

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Gunn on One: Brandon Graham on Eagles' hot start, slowing down Chris Thompson

Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham is in his eighth season and is the longest-tenured player on the Birds' defense. He currently leads the defense with four sacks. Recently, I slowed him down just long enough to ask him some questions. The topics included the Eagles' 5-1 record and facing a key offensive weapon on the Redskins.

Gunner: With a 5-1 record, are you guys enjoying having that target on your back? Everyone in the NFC is gunning for you guys right now.

Graham: They didn't give us a chance in the beginning. We were going to be at the bottom of the NFC East. We got a lot of new guys, but we didn't have the chemistry, and now all we do is work. Nobody is worried about 5-1 right now. We're just worried about the Redskins. It's the next game up. We have another opportunity to go out and win a game. I guess after the season we'll look back and say, 'OK this is what we did.' I don't see guys getting caught up in 5-1. We just work.

Gunner: Speaking of the Redskins, a guy you have to watch closely Monday night is RB Chris Thompson. How special is this guy? He's their leading rusher and leading receiver averaging almost 19 yards per catch?

Graham: Man, he's good. He has good balance, good vision, fast. He's everything you want in a running back. I think we have a good challenge up ahead. We just have to play team defense, and rally to the ball. Get numbers to the ball and we should be fine.

You can see the extended version of my conversation with Graham Monday night at 7 p.m. on Eagles Pregame Live on NBC Sports Philadelphia Plus.