12:07pm: Today’s tryouts are simply precautionary, according to head coach Chip Kelly (Twitter link). I speculated as much below, noting that the team could simply be attempting to identify a Plan B in case Parkey has to miss a game or two.
10:13am: Alex Marvez of FOX Sports reported earlier today that the Eagles would be auditioning kickers today after Cody Parkey re-aggravated a preseason groin injury during Sunday’s game, and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com has provided some additional details, tweeting that ex-Changers kicker Nick Novak is working out for Philadelphia.
After Marvez tweeted that there are at least two other free agents in attendance, Rapoport reported those names as well, tweeting that Caleb Sturgis and Billy Cundiff are getting a look from the Eagles. Connor Barth, Jay Feely, and ex-Eagle Alex Henery are among the other notable veteran kickers who are currently without NFL jobs, but it doesn’t sound like they’re being considered by Philadelphia.
Novak, 34, had been the Chargers’ full-time kicker from 2011 to 2014, making 101 of his 117 field goal attempts (86.3%) during his time in San Diego, including 11 of 17 from 50+ yards. However, he was beaten out in camp this year by the younger, cheaper Josh Lambo, and was released by the Chargers earlier this month.
Sturgis, meanwhile, was the Dolphins’ kicker for the last two seasons, but his performance was a little shakier, as he missed eight field goal attempts in each of his two seasons with the team, for an overall mark of 77.5%. He lost his job to Andrew Franks this year. As for Cundiff, he kicked for the Browns in 2013 and 2014, converting 78.2% of his field goal tries.
If Novak, Sturgis, or Cundiff impresses the Eagles, it won’t necessarily result in a deal — according to Marvez, it’s unclear whether Parkey will be healthy enough to kick for Philadelphia in the club’s Week 4 game against Washington. Today’s workout may just be a fact-finding mission to identify the best alternative in case Parkey’s groin ultimately keeps him out of action.