The Philadelphia Eagles have scheduled a workout with Canadian kicker Lirim Hajrullahu, per NFL sources.
Just like all NFL workout participants in 2020, Hajrullahu has to pass three COVID-19 tests prior to entering the Eagles’ facility. If the results return negative, he will be on field Tuesday, October 20.
He went through and passed coronavirus protocols with the New York Jets and worked out for gang green on Wednesday. However, the Jets elected to sign former CFL kicker Sergio Castillo to the practice squad.
Philly currently has Jake Elliott kicking and Cameron Johnston punting. Elliott has made seven-of-nine three-point attempts in 2020 and is 81-for-97 (83.1 percent) through 52 NFL games. Johnston has punted 21 times for a net average of 45.7 yards during five games this year. The Eagles don’t have an emergency option on the practice squad in the event a positive COVID-19 case happens.
The Los Angeles Rams released Hajrullahu at the end of training camp. He was by far the best statistical kicker, but the Rams chose to start the season with Sam Sloman who LA selected in the seventh round of the 2020 NFL draft. Hajrullahu went 10-for-13 in Los Angeles scrimmages while Sloman hit 8-of-13.
The 30-year-old played Hajrullahu in all 18 regular season games with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 2019, converting 47-of-55 field goal attempts (85.5 percent) and 26-of-28 single convert attempts (92.8 percent), while averaging 43.1 yards per punt on 106 attempts.
The five-foot-eleven, 205-pounder ranked tied for first in the CFL in field goals made (47), third in scoring (162 points) and sixth in field goal percentage. Hajrullahu earned division all-star honours for the first time in Hamilton and second time in his career (2016 and 2019).
Born in Kosovo, Hajrullahu and his family fled the region when he was a nine-year-old as Serbian forces attacked their town. More than a million ethnic Albanians were displaced and 11,000 were killed in a war that lasted 18 months in the late 1990s.
The family ended up in a refugee camp in neighbouring Macedonia. The family bypassed a chance to immigrate to the U.S. and opted for Canada instead, ultimately settling in the St. Catharines area.
Hajrullahu was the only Canadian in the CFL that handled all kicking duties for a franchise last season. There were multiple NFL teams interested in Hajrullahu in March and the Eagles are giving him a look.