It had seemed likely all week from the way the Eagles have handled the situation, but Doug Pederson made it official Friday: Jake Elliott, cleared by an independent neurologist Friday morning, is scheduled to kick Sunday against the visiting Chicago Bears.
Elliott apparently suffered a concussion on the opening kickoff Sunday night at Dallas, tackling Cowboys returner Ryan Switzer at the end of a 61-yard return. Elliott stayed in the game, though, until later in the first quarter, when he missed a 34-yard field goal attempt. It isn’t clear whether Elliott said something then, or someone else intervened. Special-teams linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill subsequently handled kickoffs, and the Birds went for two points after touchdowns, converting three of four attempts.
As the practice week began, the Eagles never brought in other kickers to try out, and they did nothing to encourage speculation they would make a roster move to bring Caleb Sturgis back off injured reserve. Sturgis began the season as the Eagles kicker but tore a hip flexor in the season opener and was replaced by Elliott, formerly on the Bengals’ practice squad, who set an Eagles franchise record with five 50-yard-plus field goals.
Elliott practiced fully Thursday, an indication he was close to being cleared.
Pederson said reserve tight end and special-teams standout Trey Burton will be a game-time decision Sunday because of back spasms. This could lead to more snaps for Brent Celek, and for Isaac Seumalo as a third tight end in the run game. Pederson said Beau Allen, battling knee tendinitis, also would be a game-time decision. If Allen can’t play, Destiny Vaeao stands to get more snaps, and rookie Elijah Qualls probably will be active.