Younghoe Koo

Saints Notes: Ingram, Davenport, Koo

Running back Mark Ingram is back at Saints practice after skipping organized team activities in May, tweets Nick Underhill of the Advocate. Ingram’s presence doesn’t come as a surprise, as he indicated late last month that he’d been in attendance for mandatory minicamp. A free agent at the end of the 2018 season, Ingram will begin the campaign by serving a four-game performance-enhancing drug suspension. New Orleans figures to hand a full workload to second-year running back Alvin Kamara, although the club is scheduled to audition veteran runners Jamaal Charles and Terrance West this week.

Here’s more on the Saints:

  • Rookie defensive end Marcus Davenport will undergo thumb surgery on a minor injury, but is expected to return in time for training camp, as Underhill writes in a full piece. Davenport will wait until after minicamp to have the operation, so he’s unlikely to miss any practice sessions. The Saints sacrificed a great deal of draft capital in order to land Davenport, trading two first-round selections and a fifth-rounder for the right to move up to pick No. 14. While Davenport’s injury seems negligible, New Orleans should have enough defensive end depth if he does end up missing significant action, as Alex Okafor (recovering from his own injury), Trey Hendrickson, and George Johnson, among others, are available.
  • In addition to Charles and West, the Saints plan to work out a number of players during their minicamp, including kicker Younghoe Koo (Twitter link via Larry Holder of NOLA.com); wide receiver Kevin Snead, tight end Jack Tabb, punter Jonathan Hernandez, and offensive lineman Trevor Darling (Twitter links via Josh Katzenstein of NOLA.com); and wide receiver Josh Smith (Twitter link via Underhill). Of the group, Koo is the only member with NFL experience, as he spent four games as the Chargers’ kicker in 2017 before being waived.
  • In case you missed it, the Saints were one of five teams to use a post-June 1 release designation, meaning they were able to free up $3MM in cap space on June 1 as a result of tight end Coby Fleener‘s release.

Rams Worked Out 10 Kickers To Replace Greg Zuerlein

The Rams will be without Greg Zuerlein for the rest of the season. Their Pro Bowl kicker, since placed on IR, will undergo back surgery on Thursday, Sean McVay said (via Alden Gonzalez of ESPN.com).

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.

Veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer reports (on Twitter) the Rams worked out Roberto Aguayo, Dan Carpenter, Travis Coons, Andrew Franks, Garrett Hartley, Marshall Koehn, Younghoe Koo, Mike Meyer and Jason Myers. Two long snappers — Jeff Overbaugh and Drew Farris — and two punters-as-holders (Matt Wile and Austin Rehkow) were also on hand for this unique specialty showcase, per Balzer (on Twitter).

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.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Workout Updates: 10/27/17

Today’s workout updates:

Buffalo Bills

Los Angeles Chargers

New England Patriots

New York Giants

San Francisco 49ers

NFL Workout Updates: 10/24/17

Today’s workout updates, with all links going to veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer’s Twitter account unless otherwise noted:

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Dallas Cowboys

  • LS Trent Gow (link)

Detroit Lions

  • WR Jake Kumerow (link)

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

New Orleans Saints

Oakland Raiders

Cowboys Working Out Kickers

The Cowboys had to resort to using defensive back Jeff Heath as their placekicker on Sunday after incumbent Dan Bailey went down with a groin injury, but the club won’t ask Heath to play the role of kicker any longer. Dallas is working out free agent kickers Mike Nugent, Jason Myers, Sam Irwin-Hill, and Younghoe Koo, according to Field Yates of ESPN.com (Twitter link).Younghoe Koo (Vertical)

Bailey is expected to miss several weeks after sustaining a groin strain, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Replacing the 29-year-old certainly won’t be easy, as Bailey owns a 89.9% field goal success rate for his career, and hasn’t missed a field goal or an extra point this season. The Cowboys have garnered 4.1 points of field position from Bailey’s work on field goals and extra points, good for seventh in the NFL per Football Outsiders.

Nugent is — by far — the most experienced of the kickers Dallas is working out, as he’s appeared in 153 games during his 12-year NFL career. He lost out to Aldrick Rosas in the Giants’ kicking battle this summer. Myers and Koo, meanwhile, were released this season after struggling with the Jaguars and Chargers, respectively. Irwin-Hill has never appeared in an NFL game, but he did spend the summer in Cowboys’ camp.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chargers Sign K Nick Novak

The Chargers are bringing Nick Novak back. He’ll replace Younghoe Koo, who has been waived.

Koo won the Bolts’ kicking competition over Josh Lambo this offseason. The undrafted rookie had some hiccups in Week 2, however, and the team didn’t test him much after he missed two of three tries against Miami. The Chargers, now 0-4, lost that game by two points.
Nick Novak (Vertical)

Novak was released by Houston when he was edged out by second-year pro Ka’imi Fairbairn for the kicking job. He re-upped with the Texans on a one-year, $1.15MM deal this offseason, but had to settle for just the $250K signing bonus in the contract.

In 2016, Novak nailed 85.4% of his attempts last season, a tick above his career average. He was the Chargers’ full-time kicker from 2011 to 2014, making 101 of his 117 field goal attempts (86.3%) during his time in San Diego, including 11 of 17 from 50+ yards.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chargers Sign 15 Undrafted Free Agents

The Chargers announced that they’ve reached agreements with 15 undrafted college free agents. The full list is as follows: