According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the Indianapolis Colts are indeed waiving kicker Rodrigo ‘Hot Rod’ Blankenship following a disastrous 2022 debut in the recent opener—and his continued struggles:
The #Colts are waiving kicker Rodrigo Blankenship, per source.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) September 13, 2022
The 25 year old undrafted kicker out of Georgia and former Lou Groza Award winner showed initial promise as a rookie regarding his accuracy in 2020 (even making the PFWA All-Rookie Team)—before fading down that season’s stretch, including a pivotal miss in the AFC Wildcard game against the Buffalo Bills.
Blankenship was limited and eventually shut down last season with a season-ending hip injury, and his play has never fully recovered to his early form as a rookie. He was just 11 out of 14 (78.6%) in his field goal attempts last season.
In the recent opener, Blankenship inexplicably sailed two consecutive kickoffs out-of-bounds late in the game against the Houston Texans, providing them excellent starting field position at their own forty-yard line. He then sliced a 42-yard potential game-winning field goal attempt wide right in overtime—as his kick was nowhere close to splitting the uprights.
Blankenship has been much maligned for his lack of leg strength, even playing indoors, and his shrinking in big moments with the Colts. He had been given an extended opportunity by the Colts to ‘right the ship’ (*without much presented serious competition in training camp and preseason), but his problems persisted. This past Sunday’s poor performance was finally the last straw to bring his pro career in Indy to an overdue closure.