Zuerlein has been playing through a back injury all season, and McVay labeled it a herniated disk. The 29-year-old kicker aggravated the injury while sleeping the night before the Rams’ Week 15 game in Seattle. McVay said his kicker could barely stand on Sunday, and it affected his performance and Los Angeles’ game plan against the Seahawks.
Up next for Zuerlein will be a 12-week recovery timetable.
As for the replacement effort, Sam Ficken won quite the derby despite having no NFL kicking experience. A 2015 UDFA out of Penn State, Ficken took part in a 10-man kicker audition on Wednesday.
Carpenter and Hartley have extensive NFL experience — a combined 16 seasons’ worth — while Aguayo was selected in the second round only to become a workout journeyman by his second year. He auditioned for the Browns earlier this week and also could not procure the Rams’ kicker job, one that will feature playoff opportunities. Hartley has not kicked in a game since 2014, and Carpenter hasn’t kicked this season.
The Chargers cut Coons earlier this week, but he’s been in Los Angeles for a few weeks now after being the initial Nick Novak replacement for the Bolts. Myers hasn’t kicked since losing his Jaguars job to ex-Charger Josh Lambo, and Franks — a former Dolphin — hasn’t suited up for a 2017 contest either.
October 23rd, 2017 at 1:33pm CST by Dallas Robinson
The Panthers are working out a group of kickers that includes free agent Andrew Franks on Tuesday, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link).
While incumbent kicker Graham Gano has not been ruled out for next week’s game against the Buccaneers, he is dealing with a knee injury. Gano appeared on Carolina’s injury report late last week, and subsequently had ice on his knee following the Panthers’ 17-3 loss to the Bears on Sunday, tweets Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer. Gano converted his lone field goal attempt yesterday, a 36-yarder that represented Carolina’s only points on the day.
The Panthers began the season with rookie kicker Harrison Butker on their practice squad, but he’s since been snatched up the Chiefs (and performed rather well). Franks, meanwhile, was the Dolphins’ kicker for each of the past two seasons, but he converted just 78.4% of his field goal attempts during that time. He’s auditioned for the Redskins, Buccaneers, and Jaguars since being released by Miami, but has yet to land a contract.
Redskins kicker Dustin Hopkins is being placed on injured reserve with a strained rotator muscle in his right hip, a source tells JP Finlay of NBC Sports Washington (on Twitter).
With Hopkins out, the Redskins are auditioning replacements. Andrew Franks, Marshall Koehn, Mike Nugent, and Nick Rose all showed their stuff in D.C. on Tuesday, Field Yates of ESPN.com (Twitter link) reports. Franks, Koehn, and Nugent are well acquainted after they all participated in the Buccaneers’ workout last week.
Hopkins connected on 9 of 11 field goal attempts this season. In Sunday’s game against the Niners, he connected on tries from 21 and 48 yards, though he missed one extra point try.
Initially, the Bucs were hoping to have a handful of kickers audition early next week, but the team is not enamored with the options presently available, Rapoport hears. That’s why, at the moment, only Mike Nugent and Andrew Franks are slated to for the tryout. If more names aren’t added to the list and neither Nugent nor Franks performs well, the Bucs could wind up sticking with Folk.
It has been a rough two games for Folk. On Sunday, he struggled against the Giants before nailing the game-winning field goal at the end. Then, on Thursday, he bricked all three FG tries, costing the Bucs a win over the defending champs.
Folk has missed five field goals already this season, but he missed only four during his entire 2016 campaign with the Jets (27 for 31). The Buccaneers, understandably, want to get this right given what they went through last season with Roberto Aguayo . As Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times (on Twitter) points out, the team has converted on just 28 of 42 field goal attempts (66%) since the beginning of the 2016 season. That marks the lowest percentage of any team in the league over that span.
Well, you knew this was coming. After Nick Folk‘s dreadful performance on Thursday night, the Buccaneers will work out kickers, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.
The audition will include Andrew Franks, Mike Nugent, and potentially two or three other kickers, Rapoport tweets. The kicker tryout is likely to take place next week rather than this weekend as the list is finalized, Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times adds (on Twitter).
Folk went 0-for-3 on field goals against the Patriots, representing more than the difference between a Bucs win and loss. The Pats won by a score of 19-14 when Jameis Winston‘s end-of-the-game drive fell short.
Folk took full responsibility for Tampa Bay’s loss after the game, but his mea culpa will do little to help preserve his job. There’s no word on this yet, but Folk may not even get the opportunity to kick alongside the other hopefuls during the audition.
“[It has been a [bad week],’’ Folk said on Thursday (via Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times). “It started last Sunday and today. Bad week. “I left points out there. We should’ve won 20-19. This one is on me.’’
Two of Folk’s misses came in the fourth quarter, one from 49 yards out and one 31-yarder. He also missed a long 56-yard try at the end of the first half. This came on the heels of Sunday’s performance against the Giants in which he missed an extra point and two field goals before kicking the game-winner on the final play.