Michael Badgley

Colts To Waive Rodrigo Blankenship, Add Two Kickers To Practice Squad

Back after missing most of last season, Rodrigo Blankenship missed a crucial field goal that would have avoided the Colts’ first tie in 40 years. The team is now moving on from the third-year kicker.

Indianapolis is waiving Blankenship Tuesday, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (on Twitter). The team may be set to hold a pre-Week 2 practice competition. Chase McLaughlin and Lucas Havrisik are signing to the Colts’ practice squad, Pelissero adds (via Twitter). Former Jaguars Matthew Wright and Josh Lambo also worked out for the team Tuesday, per the Indianapolis Star’s Joel Erickson (Twitter links).

This will mark an Indiana return to Indianapolis for McLaughlin, whom the team used during part of the 2019 season. An an Adam Vinatieri injury brought in McLaughlin, who had already kicked in games for the Chargers and 49ers that year. McLaughlin finished the season with the Colts, who replaced him with Blankenship in 2020. McLaughlin went 5-for-6 on field goals with Indy in 2019. He was 15-for-21 in 16 Browns games last season. A UDFA rookie out of Arizona, Havrisik was the Wildcats’ kicker for most of the past five seasons. His two 57-yard makes in college double as the Pac-12 program’s record. Havrisik also participated in the Colts’ rookie minicamp this year.

In addition to his 42-yard overtime miss, Blankenship sent two kickoffs — his final regulation kick and the overtime opener — out of bounds. The Texans scored on neither of the ensuing drives, but some with the Colts were more frustrated with those sequences than the OT field goal miss, The Athletic’s Zak Keefer tweets.

Blankenship has not been the Colts’ primary kickoff man for most of his career. Longtime punter Rigoberto Sanchez handled those duties when available. The latter going down during a training camp practice led to the Colts signing Matt Haack but using their kicker as their kickoff man in Week 1.

Last season, the Colts placed Blankenship on IR — after his injury in Baltimore contributed to a Monday-night collapse — and used Michael Badgley as their kicker in the final 12 games. The team did not bring Badgley to training camp, however, with Keefer adding it viewed rookie UDFA Jake Verity as the higher-upside choice (Twitter link). The Colts waived Verity as they moved their roster to 53.

A former four-year Georgia Bulldogs kicker, Blankenship signed with the Colts as a 2020 UDFA. Blankenship made 87% of his field goals as a rookie, though he was 1-for-3 from beyond 50 yards. This will be the third time in four seasons the Colts will have needed to make an in-season kicker switch. Vinatieri’s early-season struggles in 2019 led to a late-season surgery, beginning the stretch of uncertainty. Prior to that, the most notable in-season kicker change the Colts had made occurred back in 2009, when a Vinatieri injury prompted the eventual AFC champions to sign Matt Stover. Excepting the Stover year, the Colts used two kickers from 1998-2010 — Mike Vanderjagt and Vinatieri.

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/19/21

Today’s minor moves:

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Rams

Minnesota Vikings

New York Giants

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Colts Activate WR T.Y. Hilton, Place K Rodrigo Blankenship On IR

T.Y. Hilton is set to make his 2021 debut tomorrow against the Texans. The veteran wideout has officially been activated from injured reserve, reports Aaron Wilson (via Twitter). The team also placed kicker Rodrigo Blankenship on IR and promoted kicker Michael Badgley and safety Jordan Lucas from the practice squad.

The Colts placed Hilton on IR before Week 1, and he underwent surgery after suffering a neck injury in practice. The 31-year-old returned to practice earlier this week, an indication that he was close to returning to the field. The veteran hasn’t had a 1,000-yard season since 2018, but he’ll still provide Carson Wentz with a reliable target. Hilton finished the 2020 campaign with 56 receptions for 762 yards and five touchdowns in 15 games.

Blankenship’s hip pain played a major factor in the Colts blowing a 19-point lead Monday night, as the second-year kicker missed an extra point and two field goals in an Indianapolis overtime loss. Ultimately, that injury will land Blankenship on IR, and the team will turn to their recent practice squad acquisition. Badgley is best known for his three-year Chargers stint, as the Money Badger kicked in 34 games for the Bolts from 2018-20. He made 94% of his field goal attempts as a rookie but connected on less than 73% of his tries in 16 games last season. The Titans cut Badgley after he missed a field goal and an extra point in Week 1.

Lucas joined the Colts practice squad in late September. The defensive back opted out of the 2020 campaign, but he previously appeared in 30 games for the Chiefs between the 2018 and 2019 seasons.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 10/14/21

Today’s taxi squad moves:

Carolina Panthers

Kansas City Chiefs

Indianapolis Colts

Los Angeles Chargers

San Francisco 49ers

Colts To Sign K Michael Badgley

The Colts’ kicker workout will lead to a signing. Michael Badgley agreed to terms to return to Indianapolis, per Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (on Twitter). He will join Indianapolis’ practice squad and serve as the backup option to Rodrigo Blankenship, who is battling a hip injury.

Badgley joined Brett Maher, Aldrick Rosas and Riley Patterson for the Wednesday audition. The Colts summoning Badgley for a physical was a fairly clear indicator he would be the pick, and they are bringing him back into the fold. Badgley began his career with the Colts, signing with the team as a UDFA in 2018. The Colts cut him after training camp, however, with Adam Vinatieri still thriving at that point.

An ex-Miami Hurricane, Badgley is best known for his three-year Chargers stint. The Money Badger kicked in 34 games for the Bolts from 2018-20. He made 94% of his field goal attempts as a rookie but connected on less than 73% of his tries in 16 games last season. The Titans cut Badgley after he missed a field goal and an extra point in Week 1.

Blankenship’s hip pain played a major factor in the Colts blowing a 19-point lead Monday night. The second-year kicker missed an extra point and two field goals in Indianapolis overtime loss. The Colts may well require their new emergency kicker’s assistance this week.

Colts Working Out 4 Kickers

Rodrigo Blankenship‘s hip injury played a role in the Colts’ collapse Monday night, and the team is looking into temporary replacements. Michael Badgley and Brett Maher are working out for the Colts on Wednesday, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

Indianapolis might not stop with just these two for workouts, Rapoport notes, with Blankenship in jeopardy of missing time. But for now, these are the free agents the Colts have identified as their top fill-in options. Blankenship, who arrived in Indy as a UDFA last year, has not missed a game yet as a pro.

The Colts are expanding this workout, with Tom Pelissero of NFL.com adding that Aldrick Rosas and Riley Patterson are also part of the audition (Twitter link). The Saints released Rosas earlier this month, while Patterson — a four-year kicker at Memphis — is a rookie UDFA who has yet to make his NFL debut.

The team gave Badgley a physical, according to the Indianapolis Star’s Joel Erickson (on Twitter), potentially a sign he won the competition. But no signing has as of yet taken place.

Badgley, 26, kicked in one game for the Titans this season but could not hold the job. Tennessee cut him after he missed a field goal and an extra point in a Week 1 loss to Arizona. While Badgley is best known for his three-year run as the Chargers’ kicker, he entered the NFL in 2018 as a Colts UDFA. The Colts waived Badgley after his rookie training camp, with Adam Vinatieri still going strong at that point.

Maher, 31, has not kicked in a regular-season game since the Cowboys cut him late in the 2019 season. The former CFL specialist has, however, caught on with several teams in the many months since. Maher has made stops with the Jets, Washington, Texans, Cardinals and Saints but did not make his way onto any of the teams’ regular-season rosters. Maher, whom New Orleans released with an injury settlement in August, has made three 60-plus-yard field goals during his short NFL career (29 games from 2018-19).

49ers Work Out Kickers

The 49ers are looking at a group of kickers to potentially fill in for Robbie Gould. Michael Badgley, Brett Maher, and Joey Slye are among those auditioning while the team awaits word on Gould’s groin injury (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero).

[RELATED: 49ers Meet With Mychal Kendricks]

Badgley kicked in 34 Chargers games over the past three years but could not beat out the younger Tristan Vizcaino, in training camp. He had a recent cup of coffee with the Titans but that only lasted for a few days. He made nearly 94% of his attempts as a rookie in 2018 — including a 59-yarder — but saw that number dip to 72.7% in 2020.

Slye saw a brief stint as the Texans’ kicker this year, going 4-for-5 on field goals in three games. He was later released as Ka’imi Fairbairn‘s returned to action.

During his time in Dallas, Maher became the first kicker in NFL history to make three 60-plus-yard field goals, accomplishing this feat during the 2018 and ’19 seasons. However, after he made more than 80% of his field goals in 2018, Maher was just 20-for-30 a year later. He did not kick in 2020 and he did not make the Saints’ cut this summer, but he could have a chance to return in SF.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/13/21

Today’s minor moves:

Carolina Panthers

Dallas Cowboys

Las Vegas Raiders

New Orleans Saints

Philadelphia Eagles

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Titans Promote K Michael Badgley, S Bradley McDougald; Sam Ficken Lands On IR

Like the Texans, the Titans will need their recently added practice squad kicker to contribute immediately. Tennessee placed Sam Ficken on IR on Saturday and promoted Michael Badgley.

The Titans signed Badgley to their practice squad Friday. The former Chargers specialist will suit up against the Cardinals in Week 1. Ficken will not be eligible to begin his season until Week 4. The Titans added their top kicker to their injury report Friday; a groin injury will sideline Ficken to start the year.

This move complicates the Titans’ kicker situation yet again. After a Ryan Succop injury led to a host of kickers suiting up for the Titans in 2019, leading to a historically bad 8-for-18 collective make rate, the Titans signed Stephen Gostkowski last year. The ex-Patriot made just 69% of his field goal tries. The Titans also added Randy Bullock, who worked out for the team Friday, to their practice squad. The Lions cut Bullock, a longtime Bengals kicker, last month.

Badgley kicked in 34 Chargers games over the past three years but could not beat out a younger competitor, Tristan Vizcaino, in training camp. The Texans promoted recent P-squad addition Joey Slye to their active roster Saturday as well, with Ka’imi Fairbairn also on IR with a groin ailment. Badgley auditioned for the Texans, but they went with Slye.

Additionally, the Titans promoted Bradley McDougald and MyCole Pruitt to their active roster. Tennessee signed McDougald earlier this summer but demoted the veteran safety to its P-squad earlier this week. Pruitt is back with the Titans after the 49ers released him on cutdown day.

Titans To Add K Michael Badgley To P-Squad

After working out for the Texans earlier this week, Michael Badgley landed a gig with another AFC South team. The Titans are signing the former Chargers kicker to their practice squad, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets.

Badgley lost his job to second-year kicker Tristan Vizcaino in camp but may have a chance to resurface soon. The Titans have experienced issues at kicker over the past two seasons and are going with another new one, former Jet Sam Ficken, to start this year. Ficken, however, is dealing with a groin injury that had him limited in Friday’s practice.

The Bolts’ kicker for most of the past three seasons, Badgley made nearly 94% of his attempts as a rookie in 2018 — including a 59-yarder — but saw that number dip to 72.7% in 2020. The Chargers kept Badgley on their active roster in 2019, despite an eight-game injury absence to start the year, when the NFL utilized stricter IR rules. But they did not greenlight a fourth season, going instead with Vizcaino, who has one career game under his belt.

Badgley, 26, worked out for the Texans this week, but the team went with ex-Panther Joey Slye. Slye will now fill in for an injured Ka’imi Fairbairn to start the season. Badgley will represent Ficken insurance and in-house competition.

Ficken, 28, kicked in 15 games for the Jets in 2019 and in nine last year. A former Greg Zuerlein injury replacement in Los Angeles, Ficken landed in Tennessee via waiver claim in early August. Tennessee used Stephen Gostkowski as its kicker last season, but the former Pro Bowler made less than 70% of his field goal tries. In 2019, the Titans endured a historically bad kicking campaign, using five kickers and seeing that quintet go a combined 8-for-18.