Cameron Johnston punted three times on Sunday before leaving with a concussion. He averaged 38.3 yards with a net of 23.8.
Jake Elliott punted twice for an average of 38.5 yards and a net of 38.5.
The Eagles already have a quarterback controversy on their hands, operating on a week-to-week basis with Jalen Hurts over Carson Wentz, so the last thing they need is a punter controversy.
That’s a reach, for sure, but Elliott didn’t do terribly when he had to fill in for Johnston, and if Johnston can’t clear the concussion protocol this week, perhaps the kicker gets a few more swings as the punter against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.
“He’s a stud for how he handled it,” said Eagles special team coordinator Dave Fipp. “He punted the ball well. I thought the guys covered well for him and everybody kind of stepped up their game down the stretch for us against a good returner (in Arizona’s Christian Kirk).”
Johnson has been one of the league’s top punters this season, so he isn’t in any jeopardy of losing his job, at least to Elliott he isn’t. His one-year deal does expire, though, at the end of the season.
As tempting as it might be to develop Elliott as a punter, and not have to burn two roster spots on a punter and kicker, there is no plan to make Elliott do both. Unless it’s this week out of necessity.
The Eagles could still sign someone on Tuesday or Wednesday and, presumably get the new guy through COVID-19 protocols in order to have him punt against the Cowboys. A new punter wouldn’t have to learn any new plays – just kick the ball.
The way Fipp talked about Elliott, though, the Eagles may feel comfortable using him in Dallas should Johnston not pass through the concussion protocols.
“He gets a few (practice punts) each week,” said Fipp. “He’s just great at all that stuff. He’s got a lot of confidence and a lot of poise and nothing really seems to bother him a whole lot, which is why he’s a good kicker, too.
“The moment doesn’t really change who he is. I thought he went out there and responded really well. He had good operation time, he had good hang time with the distance combination, he did a really nice job for us.”
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