The #Colts are working out kickers today with starter Rodrigo Blankenship suffering from a hip injury that limited him on MNF. Blankenship may miss a little time. The team is working out at least FA Ks Brett Maher and Michael Badgley, sources say. Badgley was once a UDFA in Indy.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 13, 2021
With incumbent starter Rodrigo ‘Hot Rod’ Blankenship battling through a hip injury, and having struggled on Monday Night with a missed extra point and two missed field goals (*one of which was blocked), the Colts very well may have to find a short-term temporary replacement for the next few weeks.
Despite a number of practice squad stints in recent seasons, the 31 year old Maher last kicked in meaningful action for the Dallas Cowboys in 2019—when he was 20 of 30 for field goals (66.7%) and a perfect 36 of 36 for extra point attempts during 13 starts.
Meanwhile, Badgley is a ‘blast from the past’ for Colts fans, as he spent the 2018 offseason and training camp with Indianapolis (and performed well) before being released as part of final 53-man roster cuts in favor of future Hall of Famer Adam Vinatieri.
Badgley was 1 for 1 last year in field goal attempts with the Tennessee Titans in 2021 and 1 for 2 in extra points during 1 start.
However, when he was a full-time starter for the Los Angeles Chargers in 2019, the 26 year old kicker converted 24 of 33 field goals (72.7%) and was 36 of 39 from extra point land (92.3%).
Surprisingly enough, free agent Eddy Pineiro, who spent the 2021 training camp with the Colts, and was neck-and-neck with Hot Rod in a heated kicking competition—highlighted by a pristine 4 for 4 from field goal range in two preseason games (including a long of 50 yards) was not among the kicking names that Rapoport just mentioned.
While Pineiro could still be among those eventually trying out for Indy, his current omission seems a bit interesting given his prior familiarity already with the team and his strong offseason performance.
The position is critically important too.
As Colts fans saw firsthand on Monday Night primetime, a kicker can be the difference between either ultimately winning or losing a football game.