Tuesday, November 21, 2017

An Unlikely Hero’s Story and the Myth of Early Specialization

On Sunday Philadelphia Eagles placekicker Jake Elliot suffered a concussion in the second quarter of a rivalry game against the Dallas Cowboys. For many NFL teams, this injury would have been tantamount to defeat.

The kicker is not only responsible for putting points on the scoreboard via point after touchdown attempts and field goals, but he (or she!) also helps to establish field position as the opposing team's offense begins their drives.

In carrying out these duties, kickers rarely get injured. As a result, teams don’t typically dress a backup on game day.

When your only kicker does go down with an injury, though, a team is forced to attempt to convert on more fourth downs and go for two-point conversions after every touchdown. Perhaps worse still, they risk surrendering great field position to the opponent on offense.

Fortunately for the Eagles, an unlikely hero stepped up.