Rodrigo Blankenship

Buccaneers Waive K Rodrigo Blankenship

Rodrigo Blankenship partook in a training camp rematch of sorts, being part of a kicking battle against Chase McLaughlin. That series is now tied at one apiece.

Three years after Blankenship unseated McLaughlin as the Colts’ kicker, the Buccaneers are going the other way. Tampa Bay waived Blankenship on Monday, leaving McLaughlin as the only kicker on the roster.

Blankenship went 1-for-3 on field goal tries against the Jets on Saturday; McLaughlin made his only attempt. Although Blankenship was 1-for-1 in Tampa Bay’s first preseason game, McLaughlin is the team’s kicker pick.

The Bucs added Blankenship after minicamp, bringing him in nearly three months after signing McLaughlin on a one-year deal with $100K guaranteed. The Bucs did not guarantee Blankenship anything. While this competition was not to succeed a Hall of Famer, as the 2020 Colts duel was after Adam Vinatieri‘s exit, McLaughlin now looks like he will go into the season as Ryan Succop‘s successor. Succop, who remains unsigned, spent the past three seasons in that role. Succop provided some continuity for a Bucs team that spent most of the 2010s changing kickers annually, but a cap-strapped Tampa Bay operation made the veteran a cap casualty this year.

Monday’s development continues the intertwined careers of McLaughlin and Blankenship. The latter, a former Groza award winner while at Georgia, kicked in all 16 Colts games in 2020. But he suffered an injury five games into the 2021 season. Blankenship struggled in Week 1 of last season, missing a 42-yard field goal in overtime and sending two kickoffs out of bounds. Indianapolis’ usual kickoff man, Rigoberto Sanchez, was out due to a season-ending injury sustained in training camp. The team then signed McLaughlin to replace Blankenship.

McLaughlin kicked in 16 Browns games in 2021 and 16 Colts contests last year. The Bucs added him, in part, because of long-range success. McLaughlin made 9 of 12 50-plus-yard tries in 2022 and was 4-for-4 in 2021. Succop went just 2-for-7 last season. Blankenship, who finished last season with the Cardinals, is not a vested veteran and will head to the waiver wire.

Kickers frequently change cities around this point, with teams monitoring other rosters to fill this oft-unstable position. Blankenship could soon land another opportunity, though he has now been cut twice in 11 months.

Buccaneers To Sign K Rodrigo Blankenship

Going into training camp, the Buccaneers’ 2023 kicker room will have a Colts-y vibe. After bringing in Rodrigo Blankenship for a minicamp tryout, Tampa Bay is signing the young specialist, per’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter).

Blankenship spent part of three seasons with the Colts, being the team’s first non-Adam Vinatieri Week 1 leg since 2005, but was waived last year. The player who both replaced Vinatieri late in the 2019 season and took over for Blankenship in September 2022, Chase McLaughlin, is already on the Bucs’ 90-man roster.

McLaughlin kicked in 16 games for the Colts last season, replacing Blankenship after the latter’s rough day during a Week 1 tie with the Texans. Tampa Bay gave the fifth-year kicker a one-year, $1.13MM deal this offseason. That pact came with just $100K guaranteed, giving the Bucs flexibility. With Blankenship representing competition, the two recent Indianapolis kickers will vie to replace Ryan Succop in Tampa.

This will mark a rematch between McLaughlin and Blankenship, who squared off in a kicking battle in 2020. The Colts had signed McLaughlin, who kicked in four games for the team in 2019, to a reserve/futures deal in 2020. But they went with Blankenship, a 2020 UDFA out of Georgia, to be Vinatieri’s full-time successor. That move, however, only produced one full season of work. A 2021 injury and the struggles in Houston last September led Blankenship out of Indiana. The Colts paid up for ex-Rams standout Matt Gay in March.

The former Lou Groza award winner, Blankenship made 32 of 37 field goals as a rookie but suffered a hip injury during a pivotal 2021 Monday night in Baltimore. Blankenship’s efforts to kick through the injury resulted in a missed extra point and two missed field goals, opening the door to a 19-point Ravens comeback that dealt the Colts what would be a crushing blow — since the team finished one win shy of the playoffs that season. Blankenship booted two kickoffs out of bounds and missed a 42-yard field goal in overtime during his comeback game against the Texans in Week 1 of last season. He later caught on with the Cardinals, making both his field goal tries in two games.

Tampa Bay had gone through numerous kickers during the 2010s, shuffling through a new option annually, but Succop gave the team some sought-after stability. Encountering cap issues this offseason, the Bucs released Succop in March. The 13-year veteran remains a free agent.

Bucs To Work Out K Rodrigo Blankenship

Rodrigo Blankenship‘s search for a new NFL opportunity will take him to Tampa Bay. The kicker will spend minicamp with the Buccaneers on a tryout this week, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport (Twitter link).

Tampa Bay waived Jake Verity earlier this month, briefly leaving them with only one kicker on the roster (Chase McLaughlin). The arrival of Blankenship will give the Buccaneers another opportunity to conduct a competition at the position, something the latter will need to win out to get his career back on track.

Blankenship had a strong rookie season with the Colts in 2020, converting 86.5% of his field goal attempts (including 31 of 34 from inside 50 yards). The Georgia alum also made all but two of his extra point kicks, and appeared to be on course for a lengthy tenure as Indianapolis’ kicker. Things have taken an unwanted turn since, then, however.

The 2019 Lou Groza award winner was limited to just three games in 2021, and was waived early last season. That marked a disappointing end to his Colts tenure, and ultimately led him to the Cardinals’ practice squad. Blankenship, 26, made a pair of appearances in Arizona last season, converting both of his field goal tries and two of three extra point attempts. With Matt Prater re-signing in March, though, the team’s kicker situation is not in doubt.

Blankenship is thus in need of a new opportunity as he looks to re-discover the form he enjoyed three seasons ago. Tampa Bay, meanwhile, is in search of a Ryan Succop successor, after the veteran was released following a three-year run with the team. Blankenship will likely need to wait until training camp to land his next tryout if this endeavor does not result in a deal being offered.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/2/22

Here are today’s minor transactions from around the league:

Arizona Cardinals

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

New York Giants

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/26/22

Today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

New England Patriots

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Cardinals Place WR Marquise Brown On IR, Activate G Cody Ford

Hopes for a DeAndre HopkinsRobbie AndersonMarquise Brown trio will be on hold for a while. The Cardinals moved Brown to IR on Thursday, sidelining the diminutive playmaker for at least four weeks.

Brown received a second opinion on his foot injury Wednesday, and Dr. Robert Anderson confirmed a four- to six-week recovery timetable. Brown will be shut down until close to December. His injury led to the Cardinals making the trade for Anderson, whose Panthers stock cratered after his Week 6 banishment.

The Cardinals are also not wasting much time with Cody Ford. Just two days after the recent trade acquisition returned to practice, the Cards activated him from IR. This marks Arizona’s third injury activation this season. Ford will take the roster spot of Justin Pugh. An ACL tear sent the veteran guard to IR.

Arizona is also promoting Rodrigo Blankenship to its gameday 55-man roster, along with running back Corey Clement. Signed on Tuesday, Blankenship is in position to work as Arizona’s latest Matt Prater fill-in option. Prater has missed the past two games due to a hip injury. Matt Ammendola kicked in his place during that span, but the Cards are making a change here. Arizona has yet to rule out Prater, but the veteran kicker did not practice this week.

Hopkins will make his 2022 debut tonight, after serving a six-game PED suspension. The Cardinals traded for Brown during the draft, but news of Hopkins’ ban broke shortly after. Brown is under contract through 2023, like Anderson, but the former’s status is more assured beyond 2022. Tonight, however, it will be Anderson teaming with Hopkins. That said,’s Ed Werder notes the recently acquired receiver will only have a package of plays (Twitter link). A 10-15% snap share is expected for the former Jets and Panthers wideout.

Pugh’s injury opens the door for Ford, who joins Brown and Kyler Murray as Oklahoma alums chosen in the 2019 draft. Unlike the better-known ex-Sooners, Ford is in a contract year. The Bills shipped the underwhelming guard to the Cardinals for a fifth-round pick.

A 2019 second-rounder, Ford has made 29 career starts. It is not a lock he adds to that total soon, with the Cards having veteran eighth-year vet Max Garcia in the fold opposite Will Hernandez. But Ford provides decent depth for a team that suddenly needs it up front. Ford, who suffered an ankle injury not long after the Cardinals traded for him, joins Billy Price as notable Cardinals O-line depth pieces.

Cardinals Sign K Rodrigo Blankenship, Designate OL Cody Ford For Return

Matt Prater has missed the Cardinals’ past two games. If he is unable to go in Arizona’s short week, the team will roll out a third (fourth if Eno Benjamin‘s emergency kickoffs are counted) kicker this season.

A day after releasing Matt Ammendola from their practice squad, the Cardinals replaced him with Rodrigo Blankenship. Should a promotion to the team’s 55-man gameday roster ensue, this will be Blankenship’s first action since the Colts cut him earlier this season. Prater, who is battling a hip injury, has not practiced this week.

The Colts made Blankenship their full-time Adam Vinatieri successor in 2020, but a 2021 injury and a rough start to this season changed the organization’s plans. The 2019 Lou Groza award winner while at Georgia, who played one game with the Colts this season, worked out for the Cardinals earlier this month. But the team signed Ammendola, using the brief Chief as its Prater fill-in. Ammendola, who has been with three teams since August, is now out to make room for Blankenship.

In addition to missing a game-tying field goal try against the Eagles, Ammendola missed an extra point against the Seahawks on Sunday. Blankenship missed an overtime field goal in the Colts’ season-opening tie and sent two kickoffs out of bounds in that game. The Colts’ primary kickoff man, punter Rigoberto Sanchez, being on IR forced Blankenship into the kickoff role for that contest. During his full season with the Colts in 2020, Blankenship went 32 of 37 on field goals and 43 of 45 on PATs.

Additionally, the Cardinals designated guard Cody Ford for return. The fourth-year blocker has not yet debuted for his new team, having suffered an ankle injury not long after the Cards acquired him from the Bills. Ford can be activated before this week’s game, but Arizona has three weeks from today to make that transaction. If Ford is not activated in that span, he reverts to season-ending IR. The Cardinals have used two of their eight allotted injury activations thus far.

NFC West Notes: Cards, 49ers, Van, Hawks

Following the Chiefs’ lead, the Cardinals used a position player as their emergency kicker Sunday. Backup running back Eno Benjamin logged a kickoff for the Cardinals against the Panthers on Sunday. That arrangement, similar to the Chiefs’ usage of safety Justin Reid against the Cards in Week 1, will not persist past Week 4. With Matt Prater battling a right hip injury, the Cardinals worked out multiple kickers Monday.

Rodrigo Blankenship, Matt Ammendola — the Chiefs’ first post-Reid solution to fill in for Harrison Butker — Jose Borregales and Jonathan Garibay auditioned for the Cardinals, Aaron Wilson of tweets. Blankenship, whom the Colts turned to in their first full season without Adam Vinatieri, missed much of last year with an injury and was removed from his gig after struggling in Week 1 this year. Blankenship worked out for the Jaguars last week. Ammendola lasted two games as the Chiefs’ Butker fill-in, being cut after struggling in Week 3, while Garibay was part of the Cowboys’ kicking competition. The rookie UDFA did not make it out of training camp.

Ahead of Monday’s Rams-49ers matchup, here is the latest from the NFC West:

  • Although the 49ers turned to Jaylon Moore to replace Trent Williams in Week 3, Colton McKivitz will start against the Rams on Monday night. An ankle injury prevented McKivitz from replacing Williams against the Broncos, who pounced after the All-Pro’s exit, but he was the team’s swing tackle throughout the summer. With Williams facing a four- to six-week recovery timetable, McKivitz may have the blindside gig for a bit. The 49ers let 2021 swing tackle Tom Compton sign with the Broncos, but McKivitz — who filled in for Williams in a do-or-die Week 18 tilt in Los Angeles — has been with the team since arriving as a 2020 firth-rounder.
  • The 49ers have made a few changes at the slot cornerback spot over the past several weeks. After Darqueze Dennard entered camp with the job, rookie Samuel Womack supplanted him and led to the 49ers releasing the veteran. Deommodore Lenoir has since replaced Womack, with Kyle Shanahan indicating the 2021 fifth-rounder played ahead of the 2022 fifth-rounder due to superior practice work recently, Matt Barrows of The Athletic notes (subscription required). Lenoir played 29% of San Francisco’s defensive snaps last season but likely does not have a firm grip on the job over Womack, who impressed during training camp, just yet.
  • Staying on the subject of 49ers corners, Shanahan expressed optimism Jason Verrett would practice this week. Verrett’s practice window opens ahead of Week 5, with the 49ers carrying the injury-prone vet on their reserve/PUP list. Should Verrett prove recovered from his September 2021 ACL tear, Barrows notes a starting job should not be ruled out. Verrett played well as a 49ers starter in 2020, showing form that enticed the team to re-sign him in 2021 and this year. Emmanuel Moseley‘s past in the slot could allow for a transition, forming a Verrett-Mosley-Charvarius Ward trio, if Verrett is healthy.
  • Sean McVay did not seem to expect Van Jefferson to miss a third of the season, but that will happen. The Rams placed Jefferson on IR ahead of their Week 3 game, but McVay is adamant the third-year wideout did not suffer a setback upon returning from arthroscopic knee surgery, Sarah Barshop of tweets. Jefferson’s IR move was more about roster construction, and The Athletic’s Jourdan Rodrigue adds (via Twitter) the Rams expect their WR3 to be back when first eligible in Week 8 (following the team’s Week 7 bye).
  • Seahawks cornerback Tre Brown will not be ready to return when first eligible to come off the team’s PUP list. Pete Carroll confirmed the third-year corner remains a few weeks away, via’s Brady Henderson (on Twitter). Brown missed last season’s first five games and was down for their final seven, with a Nov. 21 knee injury leading to the latter hiatus. Seattle’s cornerback room has changed considerably since Brown last played; it will be interesting to see what role the 2021 fourth-rounder will play upon returning.

AFC Workouts: Texans, Nsekhe, Blankenship

The Texans are bringing in a pair of running backs for workouts Thursday, according to Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network. With starting rookie Dameon Pierce dealing with a hip injury this week, Houston invited Abram Smith and Ty’Son Williams in for workouts.

Smith is an undrafted rookie out of Baylor who converted from linebacker to running back in 2020. The Texans got a look at him some weeks ago when he played against them as a member of the Saints in the preseason. He led the Saints that day with 30 rushing yards on seven carries. Smith also worked out for the Seahawks yesterday, likely a result of Seattle placing running back Travis Homer on injured reserve.

Williams is a former Raven who came into the league after going undrafted in 2020. He spent much of his time on the practice squad but got the opportunity to start for Baltimore when injuries landed J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards, and Justice Hill all on injured reserve. He eventually was supplanted by free agent additions such as Le’Veon Bell and Latavius Murray.

The hope for Texans fans is that the workouts are solely precautionary measures that don’t speak to the injury status of Pierce, who had a strong outing last week.

Here are a few other workouts from around the league:

  • The Ravens reportedly worked out offensive tackle Ty Nsekhe yesterday, according to Doug Kyed of Pro Football Focus. Nsekhe has been a long-time backup tackle in the league, spending time with St. Louis, Washington, Buffalo, and Dallas since going undrafted back in 2009. The 36-year-old tackle has appeared in 93 games over his career and started 17. He has never served as a full-time starter and all but one of his starts came in Washington. The Ravens are getting desperate at tackle, once again. Star blindside blocker Ronnie Stanley still has not returned from an injury sustained in November 2020. The player meant to fill in until his return, Ja’Wuan James, had their season ended with a torn Achilles in the season opener. They replaced James with their sixth-man of the offensive line, utility lineman Patrick Mekari, but he left last week’s game against the Patriots with a low ankle sprain. Mekari may be able to recover quickly, but, in the meantime, the Ravens have two healthy tackles on the depth chart: free agent addition Morgan Moses and rookie fourth-round pick Daniel Faalele. If Nsekhe can earn a contract, he’ll be a much needed depth addition at tackle.
  • Former Colts kicker Rodrigo Blankenship worked out with a team yesterday for the first time since he was waived by Indianapolis, according to ESPN’s Field Yates. He and veteran kicker Sam Ficken worked out for the Jaguars, who currently roster second-year kicker Riley Patterson. After two full seasons with the Colts that turned out middling results, Blankenship was waived after he kicked two kickoffs out of bounds and missed a potential game-winner in overtime of the team’s season-opening tie. Patterson, on the other hand, hasn’t given Jacksonville any reason to search for his replacement yet. In three games with the team, Patterson has converted seven of eight field goal attempts, including a 52-yarder, and all seven extra point attempts. He’s showing continued success from his rookie season, in which he played seven games for the Lions and made 13 of his 14 field goal attempts and all 16 extra points.

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 (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.