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Eagles Kicker Jake Elliott on Foreign Object Allegations: 'It's Completely Legal'

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 19, 2023

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - JANUARY 08: Jake Elliott #4 of the Philadelphia Eagles lines up for a field goal during the third quarter against the New York Giants at Lincoln Financial Field on January 08, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

Philadelphia Eagles kicker Jake Elliott has denied using a foreign object to aid in his kicking, which would be grounds for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

"We've always used something that's within the rules," he told reporters Thursday. "It's just literally to mark the spot. It's part of the playing surface, like a piece of grass or something like that."

Last week, Cameron Filipe of Football Zebras reported emergency holder Britain Covey, filling in for injured punter Arryn Siposs during a Week 14 matchup with the New York Giants, "was seen picking up a small white object from the field after a field goal attempt by [Elliott]. When the tape is rolled back, the object was seen directly under the ball when the snap was received, and was subsequently kicked forward naturally during the field goal attempt."

Game officials didn't notice anything amiss in that instance, but have reportedly been informed to look out for any such objects before field goals or extra points going forward and were "made aware of this tactic on a Dec. 21 training tape."

Elliott said that he and the Eagles discussed the situation with the NFL.

"When we talked to them, we explained what we're doing, and they saw what we were doing," he said. "Probably 30 teams do it around the league. It's just a point of emphasis, and someone makes it bigger than it is. Everything we've done has been completely legal."

There will be an added focus on the matter when the Eagles and Giants meet in a Divisional Round showdown on Sunday night, though New York special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey wasn't going to focus on the situation.

"I'm going to let them do them and we're going to do us," he told reporters. "I am going to worry about what we do. Our primary focus is our guys and our [kicking] battery and taking care of that."

McGaughey did add that the practice of using a small object to "mark the spot," as Elliott put it, would aid a kicker.

"Yeah, you get a visual aide down there, yeah, it helps," he said.