Over 23,000 sign online petition to ban Pete Morelli from reffing Eagles games

Over 23,000 sign online petition to ban Pete Morelli from reffing Eagles games

Should veteran NFL referee Pete Morelli be banned from officiating Eagles games? More than 23,000 people say yes.

After watching Morelli and his crew penalize the Eagles dramatically more than their opponent for a fourth straight Eagles game the crew has officiated, Will Philbrick of Little Rock, Arkansas, went to change.org and created a petition to present to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell complaining about Morelli’s track record working Eagles games.

As of Sunday morning, the petition had 23,074 signatures.

The Eagles beat the Panthers and Morelli Thursday night in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The Eagles were penalized 10 times for 126 yards, and the Panthers just once for one yard. It was the first time in NFL history one team was assessed 120 or more penalty yards and its opponent was assessed fewer than 10 penalty yards.

This is nothing new.

Morelli also worked the Eagles-Lions game in Detroit last year, when the Eagles were penalized 14 times for 111 yards and the Lions twice for 18 yards.

In fact, in the last four Eagles games that Morelli has worked, the Eagles have been flagged 40 times for 396 yards and their opponents just eight times for 74 yards.

"NFL Referee Pete Morelli has a clear and statistically obvious bias against the Philadelphia Eagles," the petition reads. "Over the last four games that he has officiated that the Eagles were playing in, the Eagles were flagged a total of 40 times for 396 yards, while the Eagles opponent in those games were flagged a mere 8 times for 74 yards. This is unacceptable and puts the Philadelphia Eagles at a disadvantage. Preventing Morelli from refereeing Eagles games will result in a more trustworthy and honest NFL. This will benefit the entire league and keep all claims of conspiracy to a normal level."

Morelli, 65, is in his 21st season with the NFL and his 15th as a referee.

Alshon Jeffery still not practicing; what about Week 1?

USA Today Images

Alshon Jeffery still not practicing; what about Week 1?

With 3½ weeks to go before opening day, Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffery remains on the Reserve-Physically Unable to Perform list, hasn't practiced during training camp and — as NFL Network's Ian Rapoport tweeted Monday — is uncertain to be ready for the season opener.

Rapoport is the same reporter who suggested that Carson Wentz could begin training camp on the PUP list one day before he was a full participant in practice.

Jeffery, who played the second half of last year with a rotator cuff injury, underwent surgery in February.

That Jeffery may not be ready for the Sept. 6 opener against the Falcons at the Linc is certainly no surprise. The Eagles have never indicated that Jeffery would be ready and he hasn't done any football-related activities during the first three weeks of training camp.

Head coach Doug Pederson said Saturday that Jeffery is doing well but remains very limited.

"He's doing a great job with his rehab," Pederson said. "He's in, I would say, more the strength phase with the weights and that part. He's still doing his lower body conditioning with running and doing some things that way with his legs, making sure his cardiovascular is good.

"He can't do a ton of stuff yet necessarily on the field because of the motion of the arm swing, but we can get him in the tanks, the pools, the Alter Gs, things like that, and get his cardio up. But kind of in the strength phase right now and really doing a nice job."

Jeffery caught 57 passes for 789 yards and nine touchdowns last year in his first year with the Eagles and added 12 catches for 219 yards and three TDs in the postseason, including an acrobatic first-quarter touchdown catch from Nick Foles.

Depending on when the Eagles believe Jeffery will be ready, they can either place him on regular-season PUP, which means he's out the first six weeks, or they can use a spot on the 53-man roster for him until he's ready.

If Jeffery were unable to play right off the bat, the Eagles would likely start Mike Wallace, whose stats were very similar to Jeffery's last year — 52-for-748 and four TDs.

More on the Eagles

Eagle Eye podcast: Still a chance Foles gets traded?

USA Today Images

Eagle Eye podcast: Still a chance Foles gets traded?

On this edition of Eagle Eye, Derrick Gunn and Barrett Brooks discuss the Eagles signing Christian Hackenberg. Why Barrett still feels Nick Foles could get traded. How do players approach the time between the end of the preseason opener and the second game? Also, when do coaches punish players by playing them more than they want to?

1:00 - Gunner and Barrett's weekend update.
4:00 - Eagles sign Christian Hackenberg. Barrett thinks Nick Foles getting traded is a distinct possibility.
8:00 - How players approach the time between the preseason opener and the second game?
11:00 - Dallas Goedert's social media injury rumor.
13:00 - Jets and Redskins fight during a joint practice. What's the point of joint practices?
15:00 - Coaches punishing players by playing them more than they want?

Subscribe and rate Eagle Eye: Apple Podcasts / Google Play / Stitcher / Spotify / Art19