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Eagles' Caleb Sturgis puts the misses behind him

The kicker doesn't blame Sunday's crosswind; holder urges patience.

CALEB STURGIS was wearing an Eagles practice jersey yesterday, something he could not have been sure was going to be the case when he boarded the team bus outside FedEx Field on Sunday.

In his first game as an Eagles kicker, Sturgis missed his only field-goal attempt, from 33 yards, and his first extra point, in a game his team lost, 23-20.

Coach Chip Kelly said Monday that he would keep Sturgis around, basically because the other options were unappealing.

"It's not something I can worry about. I worry about getting better for next week," said Sturgis, a former Dolphins kicker whose struggles last week mirrored those of kickers around the league this season. "There's nothing I can necessarily point to," he said.

He said the strong crosswind Sunday should not have been a factor from that distance. "It was purely on me," Sturgis said.

"Obviously, I was upset I let the team down. That's what I'm most upset about. The guys worked really hard on Sunday and played a good game, and me not doing my job hurt."

Punter and holder Donnie Jones advocated patience.

"This guy comes in, he's getting used to a new routine, he goes out in a game where conditions are bad," Jones said. "All day that wind was gusting hard, toward our bench.

"I'm not making any excuses. Obviously, he's got to make his kicks, but I've got nothing but confidence in the guy . . . Watch the games on Sunday. Everybody misses. You've got to put it behind you, you've got to move on."

What's my line?

Offensive linemen Jason Peters (quad), Lane Johnson (knee and ankle) and Allen Barbre (undisclosed injury that seems to be lower leg) all sat out of the light practice yesterday. Matt Tobin took Peters' spot at left tackle, as he did when Peters left Sunday's game, with Dennis Kelly, who'd come in for Tobin at right guard, splitting practice time between that spot and Johnson's right-tackle position. That probably left either Josh Andrews or Julian Vandervelde as the right guard when Kelly was outside, but reporters aren't allowed to watch team drills during the season.

This is not the line the Eagles want to field Sunday against the Saints. Johnson vowed yesterday to play, with the aid of painkillers. Barbre was not available for comment. Ditto Peters.

Tobin, 6-6, 290, is built more like a tackle and seems to pass block better out there on the edge than inside, where he can be manhandled by heavier interior d-linemen.

"They'll heal up. They'll be fine," Tobin predicted, when asked about Peters and Johnson. He did not speculate on who might replace Barbre, for the Eagles' most disappointing unit.

"We've got a lot of things to correct," Tobin said. "Everybody's playing hard, for the most part, it's just communication, everybody knowing what to do and executing it."


Safety Chris Maragos (knee) practiced and said he should be fine to play against the Saints . . . Defensive coordinator Bill Davis said he thinks corner Byron Maxwell (quad contusion) should be able to play Sunday, but Maxwell did not practice yesterday. He said the quad was "swollen right now" . . . Former Saints Malcolm Jenkins and Darren Sproles said they weren't caught up in playing against their old team. Jenkins agreed that he has some familiarity with what Drew Brees and company like to do, but he said that won't be a huge deal. "I'm pretty sure they know their own tendencies. You can call out plays, but you've still got to stop it. You try not to get caught up too much on tips and alerts. There's obviously some things I'll recognize, but there's some things they have on me, as well" . . . Davis said he expects to get defensive linemen Cedric Thornton (hand) and Taylor Hart (shoulder) back this week, which is crucial, with Brandon Bair (groin) expected to miss a few weeks.