There hasn't been much of an upside to having his season ended by knee surgery, but Chris Maragos was able to to find one Sunday night, when he saw his fellow Eagles special-teams standout, Kamu Grugier-Hill, preparing to kick off in the wake of Jake Elliott's concussion.
Maragos, who kicked in high school, was the Eagles' backup kicker until he tore his posterior cruciate ligament in the Oct. 12 victory at Carolina. He then bequeathed that honor to Grugier-Hill, who has never been a kicker but has an extensive soccer background.
Maragos, who underwent surgery Nov. 8, said Tuesday that he was warming up to kick in the opener at Washington, after Caleb Sturgis tore a hip flexor, "but he ended up gutting it out."
"I usually get 'em down to the 5-yard line or so, 5-yard line to end zone," Maragos said.
So, if Maragos had been healthy Sunday night, given his actual kicking experience, maybe the Eagles would have kicked extra points, instead of going for two four times (and succeeding on three of those)?
"No, they would not!" Maragos said.
Told that Grugier-Hill might have stolen his backup job now, after managing a touchback on one of his kickoffs, Maragos said: "I hope he did, man! He did a great job … I texted him right after the game, I was like, 'Look at you with that golden toe, man!' … He's like the perfect personality to do something like that, too – real lighthearted, funny, laughing about it, too. It was good for our team, though. Keep getting these wins."
Maragos said the PCL is an unusual thing to tear playing football, but he has been told his knee "might be even stronger" by next summer. He expects to be limited in OTAs.
As the special-teams captain, Maragos probably didn't mind missing out on Ryan Switzer's 61-yard opening kickoff return against the Eagles Sunday night, either.
There was no update Tuesday on Elliott's status.
A brief blast of Barner
Kenjon Barner got two offensive snaps in Sunday night's game, back-to-back, on the Eagles' first drive. On the first, he made an excellent sideline catch for a 22-yard gain to the Dallas 4. Then he took a handoff and burrowed into the end zone. Then he did nothing the rest of the night except play special teams.
"We don't worry about quantity, we worry about quality," Barner said Tuesday. "They worked out well, but we've got a game plan, and hey, just be ready when your number's called."
Asked about the catch, Barner said: "I've worked on that in practice, against Mychal Kendricks. I wish he was in here, he could tell you all about it."
(Kendricks was not in the locker room at the time. One might infer that Barner has made such a catch against the linebacker and that Kendricks would not enjoy rehashing it.)
"Carson just stuck with me, man. I was able to get my feet down and make the catch," Barner said.
Sunday night marked the fourth game in a row in which at least four Eagles have scored touchdowns.
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