PHILADELPHIA — Philadelphia Eagles rookie punt returner Britton Covey won’t forget his first home game as an NFL player any time soon.
He was denied access to the team parking lot when he arrived at Lincoln Financial Field, the Eagles’ home ground, ahead of Monday night’s game against the Minnesota Vikings. There were two problems: He hadn’t been promoted from the practice squad to the active roster yet, so there wasn’t a pass for it, and the defense didn’t recognize him.
You could forgive Covey if he didn’t exactly strike them as a football type: He’s listed at 5-foot-8, 170 pounds, and joked in training camp that he was mistaken for a kicker by a fan.
“I was promoted to the active roster. I’m a return guy,” Covey told ESPN. “They looked at me kind of suspicious, and after a while they said, ‘Look, man, sorry, you don’t have a pass.’ I didn’t want to make a scene, so I said, ‘Okay, point to where everybody’s looking.’ So they point to me. Everyone Other parks.”
Covey directed to a fan. His pass worked there, allowing him to avoid the $45 parking fee, but he parked a quarter-mile from the stadium and had to ask some patrons for directions. Covey, who excelled as a receiver and return specialist at the University of Utah, was largely unrecognized as he weaved his way down the field. A few fans saw him and put two and two together and took a picture to capture the rare tailgating experience.
“Some of them looked at me and said, ‘That guy feels like…’ and finally I said, ‘Are we ready to play?’ And they said, ‘Yes, are you?’
Govi arrived at the stadium on time and got into the action. He returned three punts for a modest 14 yards in his second NFL game.
He said he now has a proper parking pass for future home games. However, Kovi makes a habit of parking in the fan lot because of the perspective it gives him.
“I’m not far from being a 13-year-old throwing a football at a tailgate, and it makes me remember where I came from,” he said.
“I’m determined to prove myself here, where you start, that’s the bottom line, you have to prove yourself,” Covey said. “Honestly, it’s a great story for me because it reminds me of my mindset. … It makes me want to play better, it makes me want to be better.”