Philadelphia Eagles not daunted by injury to kicker Jake Elliott

By Chad Conine, The Sports Xchange  |  Nov. 20, 2017 at 10:53 AM
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ARLINGTON, Tex. -- No kicker? No problem for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Philadelphia placekicker Jake Elliott suffered a head injury making a tackle on the opening kickoff as Cowboys returner Ryan Switzer brought the game-opening kick back to the Eagles' 37-yard line.

Elliott remained in the game to kick an extra point, but missed a 34-yard field goal later in the first quarter and was evaluated after that for a head injury.

Philadelphia head coach Doug Pederson refused to pinpoint the exact moment of Elliott's injury, but the tackle on Switzer was the kicker's only obvious contact play.

"I've got to watch a little bit of the film and see, but until I know more, I'm not going to speculate on the head injury at this time," Pederson said.

When Elliott couldn't return to the game, Philadelphia was forced to improvise on special teams. Linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill took over kicking off and the Eagles went for two-point conversions after all four of their second-half touchdowns, successfully converting three.

It was enough to make Pederson swell with pride in his postgame press conference following the Eagles' 37-9 victory at AT&T Stadium.

"I can't recall being on a team with the amount of injuries and things that we've had to overcome," Pederson said. "If there's any of the next man up, it's the guys in the locker room. You hope you don't have to put Kamu out there and kick off and do the things we did in the second half and really the whole game. It's just a tribute and credit to the guys. They'll do whatever it takes to win the game."

Philadelphia quarterback Carson Wentz converted two of the two-point attempts with scoring passes to wide receiver Alshon Jeffery and tight end Trey Burton. Eagles running back Corey Clement ran for another as they scored 30 points on four second-half scores.

The Eagles faced just one fourth down that would have otherwise been a field-goal opportunity for Elliott in the second half. On that occasion, Wentz turned a fourth-and-5 from the Dallas 17 into a touchdown pass to Jeffery, who stretched out to make the catch and lunged across the goal line.

"Alshon did a great job the way they were playing man coverage there," Wentz said. "That was all him. He got physical and was able to get in there and I gave him a shot."

Wentz said Pederson told him when Elliott went to the locker room to be evaluated for the head injury that the fourth-down and extra-point situation had been altered.

The Philadelphia quarterback rolled with the change and the Eagles offense followed.

"I don't even know if everyone on our offense knew right away. I was in the know, but I don't think everyone knew," Wentz said. "What do you really do in those situations? We were going to go for it on fourth down in some situations and go for two."

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