Dicker the kicker making most of his chance with the Eagles

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Last weekend, Cameron Dicker was at his home in Austin, Texas, watching the slate of NFL games and hoping his opportunity would come.

That’s how he spent the first four weeks of the NFL season.

“It always sucks being at home,” Dicker said, “but it’s good because it gives you a chance to look at what’s happening around the league and make you want the opportunities a little more.”

Then the Eagles called.

Jake Elliott injured his ankle in the second half against the Jaguars on Sunday at the Linc and there’s some concern that the Eagles’ Pro Bowl kicker won’t be ready for Sunday’s game in Arizona. So early this week, the Eagles signed Dicker to their practice squad as an insurance policy.

If Elliott can’t play on Sunday, the Eagles will elevate Dicker for his regular season NFL debut against the Cardinals.

“It’s exciting,” Dicker said. “No matter where I am, I’m always preparing for a game on Sunday. So even if I’m home in Austin, it’s just still getting ready for that Sunday game.”

There’s a chance Dicker spends a week on the Eagles’ practice squad and never gets a chance to suit up for them. Maybe Elliott will be ready to play against the Cardinals and they don’t need Dicker anymore. But Elliott didn’t practice on Wednesday and Dicker’s presence alone suggests the Eagles think there’s a chance they might need him.

Dicker, 22, played for the Longhorns from 2018-2021 before going undrafted this spring. Dicker made 60 of 79 field goal attempts (75.9%) during his four years in college. He made 13 of 15 as a senior and also punted for the Longhorns.

After he went undrafted, Dicker signed with the Rams, who then released him on Aug. 16. Dicker signed briefly with the Ravens but was released three days later on Aug. 29.

Since then, he’s been back in Austin, working out three or four times a week and preparing each week like he was going to be playing on Sunday. But each Sunday, he’d be back in front of the TV watching.

Dicker said he had “no clue” he was on the Eagles’ radar until he got the call. That’s the way it goes, he said.

This is the first time Dicker has ever been in Philadelphia and he’s spending the week getting acclimated to his new team and learning a bunch of new names. One he won’t forget is Jake Elliott. Because everyone knows Dicker isn’t taking his job. The best he can hope for is to play well enough this week to eventually earn a job elsewhere and perhaps put some of the tips he’ll get from Elliott this week to good use.

“It’s going to be helpful with him around,” Dicker said. “It’s Year 6 for him, I think he was telling me today, so it’s going to be helpful just listening to him, the experiences he’s been through and just get advice on this whole process for myself.”

Even when Elliott was completely healthy, the Eagles were monitoring the available kickers on the street. With just three specialists on the roster, teams have to have in-game contingency plans in place as well as during-the-week ones. There’s always a list of guys.

Dicker just happened to be on top of the Eagles’ list of kickers and we might get to see why on Sunday.

The Eagles have talked so much about the operation between long snapper Rick Lovato, holder Arryn Siposs and Elliott over the last year. That operation would be a tad different with a different kicker. But Dicker isn’t making it a bigger deal than it needs to be.

“As long as the guy puts the ball down, I should make kicks,” he said. “The goal is always to make every kick no matter what.”

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