The Bears are trying out all the ex-Chargers as their search for a kicker to replace Cody Parkey continues.
#Bears kicker tryout today includes 2 AAF players – Nick Rose and Younghoe Koo – and NFL veteran Caleb Sturgis. Sturgis kicked in 6 games for #Chargers last season. He's 80 percent on FG in career (68 games) and was 35-41 for #Eagles in 2016.
— Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) April 10, 2019
Caleb Sturgis is reportedly joining former Chargers Nick Rose and Younghoe Koo at a tryout today at Halas Hall. Rose and Koo were recent standouts in the AAF, which recently suspended operations and has since allowed its players to seek employment in the NFL. Both were expected to try out last week, but let’s keep an eye out for Sturgis as a relative newcomer on the scene.
Sturgis was a fifth-round pick (166th overall) by the Dolphins in 2013, but his best seasons came in 2015 and 2016 with the Eagles. The Eagles signed Sturgis in late September 2015, when Cody Parkey (yes, that Cody Parkey) suffered a season-ending injury. Then in September 2016, Sturgis signed a one-year contract extension after beating Parkey out for the job in training camp. In 29 games with Philadelphia, Sturgis connected on 84.1 percent of his field goals and 95.6 percent of extra-points. Those are respectable numbers, though his 73.3 percent success rate on attempts between 40-49 yards leaves something to be desired.
Injuries have been an issue for Sturgis in recent years. He suffered a season-ending hip injury in Week 1 of the 2017 season, which led to the Eagles linking up with Jake Elliott in their Super Bowl championship-winning season. Sturgis bounced back to beat Roberto Aguayo (seriously, another ex-Bears kicker? come on…) in training camp to win the kicking competition with the Chargers. But that didn’t last long as Sturgis missed a pair of games due to a quad injury, then missed two extra points and a field goal in his first game back. That’s unfortunate on so many levels.
If Sturgis is healthy, he is an interesting candidate to add to the competition. Sturgis has a prospect pedigree that’s hard to ignore. He was a two-time first-team All-SEC player at the University of Florida, earned SEC Special Teams Player of the Year and first-team All-American honors as a senior, and was on the Pro Football Writers of America’s All-Rookie Team in 2013.
With the free agent kicker returning to New England, the Bears continue on their alternative path in trying to create the best competition in order to unearth a kicker worthy of lining up for big attempts on a potential Super Bowl contender. Soon enough, we’ll learn whether or not Sturgis (or any of the other tryouts) does enough to wow the Bears’ brass.