Philadelphia Eagles: Is Jake Elliott over?

(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

After seemingly finding their kicker in former Bengal Jake Elliott, could the rookie kicker’s time as a Philadelphia Eagle be coming to a close?

Oh, how the mighty fall.

After becoming a practical folk hero in the City of Brotherly Love after kicking a walk-off, 61-yard field goal against the New York Giants, it looked like the Philadelphia Eagles had found their new franchise kicker in Jake Elliott.

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But in the words of Lee Corso, not so fast my friend.

Over the Birds’ next seven games, the former Memphis Tiger made 13 of his 15 field goal attempts, but somehow missed three extra point attempts in that time period.

That’s almost a mortal sin for an NFL kicker.

While, for the most part, these chip shot extra pointers haven’t cost the team any games, but this trend continued against the Dallas Cowboys when Elliott missed a 34-yard attempt at the end of the first quarter that would have put the team up by a score of 10-6 on enemy turf.

And unfortunately for the Doug Pederson, Elliott, and the entire Eagles team, our rookie kicker would receive an opportunity to redeem himself.

After colliding with the Ryan Switzer on the game’s opening kickoff, Elliott was ultimately pulled from the game with an apparent head injury, and would not appear in the final three-quarters of the game. While it’s a bit suspect that Elliott was allowed to kick said field goal, and the extra point after Kenjon Barner‘s touchdown, the injury made for a some serious adjustments to Dave Fipp‘s special team’s schemes, Pederson’s play calling, and gave unsung gunner Kamu Grugier-Hill a unique opportunity to show off his kicking efforts, to surprisingly good results.

Now I’m not saying Greige-Hill is the second coming of David Akers, but it was an impressive showing, and having an emergency kicker on the roster is a nice safety valve should something go wrong in the future.

So with Elliott potentially missing time with a possible concussion, will we see Kamu round two against the Chicago Bears on the Sunday after Thanksgiving? God, let’s hope not.

After suffering a quad injury in the Eagles’ Week 1 victory over the Washington Redskins, fifth-year kicker Caleb Sturgis was placed on IR and opened up a roster spot for Elliott to eventually fill. After spending the first half of the season on the reserve list, the former Miami Dolphin can return to practice anytime after Week 10, and gives the team a potential in-house replacement, should they need a new kicker.

So, with Sturgis potentially available to return from injured reserve and the marriage of Elliott’s recent inconsistencies and injury, could, and more importantly should the Eagles make a change at kicker?

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Well, on one hand, adding a veteran kicker could give the team some much-needed experience at a position of need down the stretch, but should they seriously consider moving on from a young talent like Elliott who obviously has loads of potential and could have a very long career in the NFL.

But hey, maybe they don’t have to.

The most realistic option for the Eagles moving forward, barring a setback with Sturgis, would be to play Elliott on injured reserve and reactivate Sturgis to take his place. This series of moves would allow the team to maintain their control over either player’s contract and would ensure that they don’t have to worry about potentially not having a healthy kicker on the roster for their subsequent game.

This option would also afford the team an opportunity to stage a kicking competition between Elliott and Sturgis next training camp, with the loser likely being shipped out of town for a potential draft pick.

Having a quality kicker is practically a necessity for any team with playoff aspirations, and unlike virtually every other position on an NFL roster, it’s incredibly fickle. After entering camp unchallenged, Sturgis for all intensive purposes lost his job to Elliott, the Eagles’ new answer at kicker, but again, this stability may not be long for this city.

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After kicking a miracle against the Giants in only his second pro game, Elliott could very well be out of a job before we know it. What a world.