Eagles Practice Notebook: Sturgis Returns
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - The odds-on favorite to win the Eagles’ kicking job was back at practice Monday as Caleb Sturgis returned from his bizarre concussion suffered during pre-game warmups in Pittsburgh last week.
Sturgis was going through his normal pregame preparation without a helmet on when an errant Donnie Jones punt found the top of Sturgis’ head, giving the veteran kicker his first-ever diagnosed concussion.
“I’m going to start wearing a helmet,” Sturgis deadpanned in the locker room before practice. “...It just felt like someone dropped a weight on your head.“
Sturgis said he was flagged by the concussion spotters after the Jones’ smart bomb landed but believes he could have kicked in the game.
Jones, meanwhile, felt bad about his role in this strange story and now that Sturgis has been cleared, the jokes have started to flow with many asking if Sturgis’ competition, Cody Parkey, may have paid off Jones in a Tonya Harding-like scheme to shift things his way.
“I’m a kicker, so you always get a few jokes here and there,” Sturgis said
Jones, meanwhile, said Sturgis should thank him for a couple days off before getting serious.
“I’m just glad he’s OK,” the punter said. “I just felt horrible because he missed out on an opportunity to play in a game and he’s in competition for a job. He’s done a great job kicking this whole offseason and training camp."
No worries there.
Despite his three-day hiccup, Sturgis led off practice Monday by again outkicking Parkey, hitting all five field goal attempts during the open part of the session. Parkey was 4-of-5, missing from just outside 40 yards.
Four other Eagles also returned to practice on Monday, including rookie safety Blake Countess, who was also cleared from concussion protocol, as well as right tackle Lane Johnson, defensive tackle Mike Martin and cornerback JaCorey Shepherd.
The embattled Johnson missed Saturday’s practice with a balky back while Martin has been out since early August with a knee injury. Shepherd was back on the field after dealing with a hamstring issue.
-Receiver Jordan Matthews (knee), cornerback Aaron Grymes (shoulder) and quarterback Carson Wentz (rib) were the only three Eagles who missed practice.
Coach Doug Pederson originally said Wentz wouldn’t be throwing at all after suffering some soreness after Saturday’s session but the rookie did throw a bit on the side and still hopes to be back by the final preseason game.
-Linebacker Deontae Skinner was released before practice and the Eagles roster now stands at 84 with Stephen Tulloch’s arrival. The first cutdown to 75 is set for August 30.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen