PHILADELPHIA ( — Jake Elliott remained in the NFL's concussion protocol Wednesday but Doug Pederson is confident he will have the rookie kicker back in time for Sunday's game between the 9-1 Eagles and the Chicago Bears.

Elliott has progressed to the later stages of the protocol and has been permitted to attend team meetings and observe practice, a positive sign after Philadelphia was forced to use Kamu Grugier-Hill as an emergency option during a 37-9 blowout win over Dallas when Elliott suffered a head injury making a tackle on the opening kickoff.

"I just know that he's doing a lot better," Pederson said.

If Elliott is unable to go against Chicago, the Eagles would either have to activate Caleb Sturgis off injured reserve or sign a kicker from outside the organization and make a corresponding roster move, something the team is hoping to avoid.

"I don't want to speculate on a bunch of things and say this, that and the other, because a lot of that is speculation," Pederson said. "But let's put it this way: I do believe, and I feel in the bottom of my heart, that Jake will be ready."

Despite the fact that the Eagles persevered without Elliott for much of the night in Dallas, Pederson is not interested in trying that again.

"You want somebody that can kick -- a professional kicker."

-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for You can reach him at or on Twitter @JFMcMullen

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