The Philadelphia Eagles pulled off a dominant 30-17 victory in their season opener on the road against the Washington Redskins, a formidable NFC East rival. However, the Eagles did not steal their game without suffering a key personnel loss.
According to BleedingGreenNation.com, a number of sources claim that Caleb Sturgis, 28, suffered a serious injury during Sunday’s game. Sturgis is an Eagles placekicker who has been with the team for two years. Sports reporter Les Bowen wrote in a Twitter post on Monday morning (September 11th) that Sturgis actually suffered a hip flexor. It was originally reported that Sturgis suffered a quad strain in the leg he plants with. A key move by Eagles head coach Doug Pederson indicated that something may have been wrong.
During the game, Pederson went for a two-point conversion instead of opting for a field goal in the red zone because he did not feel confident that this kicker was healthy enough to make a play. At a press conference the day after beating the Redskins, Pederson told reporters that his staff would be working this week to organize some workouts for kickers who will have to replace Sturgis. Names like Cincinnati Bengals practice squad kicker Jake Elliot have been tossed around.
Mike Nugent’s name came up on the radar as a possible replacement as well. Nugent is a former Cincinnati Bengals placekicker who is currently a free agent. He is a 12-year veteran of the NFL who has kicked 50-plus yard field goals in his playing career. The 35-year-old was cut by the New York Giants this year after the preseason. Pederson and his staff will have to make a decision soon because of the severity of the injury Sturgis sustained.
The so-called “Power Sturge” will miss at least six to eight weeks of playing time due to the hip flexor injury. Finding a suitable kicker will be somewhat of a task due to the fact that the Eagles have already filled their 53-man roster limit. In order to get a deal done, the coaching staff will have to cut one of the players or place one of them on injured reserve in order to pave the way for a new kicker who is healthy enough to play to get on the roster.
Any player who is placed on injured reserve automatically misses eight weeks of playing time. NFL teams are only allowed to let two players come back from injured reserve in a single season.