Eagles

Doug Pederson uncertain on Eagles' kickers heading into game vs. Bears

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Doug Pederson uncertain on Eagles' kickers heading into game vs. Bears

One kicker is getting better. One kicker just got hurt. One kicker isn’t even a kicker at all. Who’s going to kick Sunday? Maybe Caleb Sturgis, maybe Jake Elliott, maybe someone else. Definitely not Kamu Grungier-Hill. 
 
Does that clear everything up?
 
Head coach Doug Pederson revealed Monday that Elliott, the rocket-legged rookie, will be the Eagles’ placekicker long-term moving forward, but he also said he doesn’t know whether Elliott — who suffered a concussion Sunday night during the win in Dallas — will be available for this Sunday’s game at home against the Bears.
 
"We haven't made any decisions yet," Pederson said. "We still have a couple days before we have to make a decision."
 
Elliott replaced Sturgis, who suffered a quad strain in the opener against the Redskins and has been on injured reserve since. 
 
Ideally, the Eagles want Elliott to be cleared through the NFL’s concussion protocol and be able to kick Sunday so they can keep Sturgis on IR. 

If Elliott isn’t ready, they could activate Sturgis, who Pederson said is "close," but that would mean they would have to clear a spot on the 53-man roster for a guy who they don’t plan on keeping long-term. 
 
"He's continuing to rehab, he's begun a kicking regimen," Pederson said. "He's getting himself back to where he was prior to the injury. He's close. He's close."
 
If neither Elliott nor Sturgis is able to go, the Eagles could add a third kicker for a week or two, although that would also require keeping two kickers on the 53 (and another on IR).
 
"Again, you're talking about roster spots and making moves and things of that nature," he said. "We're not there yet. We'll continue these discussions the next couple days."
 
Most importantly, Pederson said despite Sturgis’ excellent track record since joining the Eagles, Elliott will be the team’s kicker once everybody is healthy. 
 
"I think so," Pederson said. "If he's healthy and he can play. You hate to disrupt that right now. I'd have to say yes to that one."
 
Sturgis is scheduled to be a free agent after the season. Elliott is under contract through 2018, and the Eagles control his rights through 2019.
 
Elliott, whom the Eagles signed off the Bengals’ practice squad in September, is 17 for 21 this year. He missed from 34 yards against the Cowboys Sunday night, although that miss came after he apparently suffered the concussion. 

Pederson said the concussion symptoms weren't discovered until after Elliott had attempted the field goal.
 
Elliott has made five of six attempts from 50 yards and out, including the franchise-record, game-winning 61-yarder against the Giants.
 
Sturgis is 7 for 11 as an Eagle from 50 yards and out. Including his years with the Dolphins, he's an 81.0 percent kicker, although with the Eagles he's made 84.8 percent of his field goal attempts — third-best in franchise history behind Cody Parkey (87.5 percent) and Alex Henery (86.0 percent).
 
"I think moving forward, as we continue to evaluate this week, 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," Pederson said.
 
"It kind of goes back to the same old thing. We still have a couple days here today and tomorrow to evaluate Jake and see where everybody's at. There's still a little while before we play Sunday."
 
There's one other option.

No, not letting Grugier-Hill kick. Going for two all the time.
 
Pederson — who's 9 for 12 as Eagles head coach on two-point conversion attempts — admitted he's thought about it.
 
"Yeah, I have," he said. "You always go into a game with a few (plays) in your pocket. You never expect that situation again like we had last night. But, yeah, you look at the numbers. If you're around 94, 95 percent on the extra point from the 15-yard line, your conversion rate should be in that 47, 48, 49 percent on a two-point conversion. So we look at all of that.
 
"We keep a couple extra plus-five red zone plays in our pocket for that situation. It just worked out, I think 3 for 4 last night. It's something we'll look at going forward."

Tim Jernigan reportedly heading back to the AFC in free agency

Tim Jernigan reportedly heading back to the AFC in free agency

Former Eagles defensive tackle Tim Jernigan is reportedly heading back to the AFC after agreeing to a deal with the Houston Texans.  

Jernigan is the fifth starter from the Eagles’ Super Bowl LII-winning team to move on to a new team this offseason, joining Malcolm Jenkins, Ronald Darby, Nelson Agholor and Halapoulivaati Vaitai. 

The Eagles’ moving on from Jernigan isn’t much of a surprise after the moves they’ve already made this offseason. First, they brought back Hassan Ridgeway on a one-year deal, then they got Javon Hargrave on a three-year deal. That made it pretty clear that Jernigan wouldn’t be returning. 

While we don’t know the real terms of Jernigan’s contract, it seems possible that he might factor into the compensatory pick formula. 

Here’s the updated list of Eagles free agents who have found teams so far: 

Jernigan, 27, arrived in Philadelphia in April of 2017 in a trade with the Baltimore Ravens and became a major part of the Super Bowl season. He was a starter next to Fletcher Cox and was playing very well until he suffered an ankle injury. But Jernigan was still able to start 15 games that regular season and all three playoff games. He earned a four-year extension during that season. 

But that’s when things got strange. 

Jernigan suffered a mysterious back/neck injury during the 2018 offseason and never revealed what happened. That forced him to renegotiate his contract and he was able to play just three games (five including playoffs) in 2018. 

Last year, the Eagles brought in Malik Jackson to start ahead of Jernigan but Jackson got hurt in Week 1, which should have opened the door for Jernigan. But then Jernigan hurt his foot in Week 2. Eventually, Jernigan played in 10 games (9 starts) but he hasn’t been at his best since early in that 2017 run. And even though he’s 27, it’s fair to wonder if his best days are behind him. 

Still, the absence of Jernigan will still be felt. He was a popular guy among his teammates and Jim Schwartz once said Jernigan “means something to our spirit.” 

At the end of the 2019 season, it seemed like Jernigan was already preparing himself for his departure and saying goodbye to Philadelphia. 

“At the end of the day, man, as long as my teammates know that I gave everything I had on Sunday, when those lights turned on, I gave y’all everything I had,” he said after the playoff loss to the Seahawks. “I’m at peace with that. 

“However it turns out with me in this free agency thing, I’m at peace with that. As long as y’all boys know I gave y’all everything I had. The city knows I gave them everything I had. It’s always love from here, from me there’s always love.”

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2020 NFL mock draft: Eagles don’t get a receiver in the first round

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Everyone knows the Eagles are in need of receivers, but what happens if the top guys are all off the board? 

In his latest mock draft, Andrew Kulp explores that possibility. He has the top four receivers in the class going in the top 20, which leaves the Eagles to find a new strategy. 

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