GREEN BAY, Wis. – Even with reliable Mason Crosby entrenched at the position, the Green Bay Packers have shuttled kickers in and out of town all season.
For the circumstances that might happen on Sunday.
The 36-year-old Crosby (calf/back) didn’t practice on Wednesday and wasn’t in pads for the start of Thursday’s practice.
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While Giorgio Tavecchio, who challenged Crosby in 2013 following Crosby’s poor 2012, worked out for the Packers earlier in the month, the next man up might be Nick Vogel.
Because of COVID rules, a player must pass six tests before he can work out for a team. Vogel is next up, having arrived early in the week to begin his series of tests. He’ll go through a workout on Saturday and could play in Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings, a source said.
As a senior at Alabama-Birmingham, Vogel made 19-of-23 field-goals attempts, all 37 extra points and produced 52 touchbacks in 71 kickoffs. He ended his career with 11 consecutive field goals, including a season-long 49-yarder in the bowl game. He went undrafted this year and spent time with the Baltimore Ravens behind their elite kicker, Justin Tucker.
Drafted by the Packers in 2007, Crosby hasn’t missed a game in his career. His streak of 214 consecutive games is almost as long as the next two kickers combined, with Tucker at 134 games and Detroit’s Matt Prater at 97.
Crosby is 9-for-9 on field goals this season. Only Miami’s Jason Sanders, who has made all 15 attempts, has more attempts among the kickers who haven’t misfired. Crosby missed one extra point and is sixth in the NFL with a touchdown rate of 76.9 percent on kickoffs.
Having made 22-of-24 field-goal attempts last season, Crosby’s 91.7 percent success rate was his first season of 90-plus percent. That made it the perfect timing to become a free agent for the first time in his career. Instead, just before the start of free agency, the Packers re-signed Crosby with a three-year deal worth $12.9 million.
Since his infamous five-miss game at Detroit in Week 5 of the 2018 season, Crosby has missed a total of six kicks in his last 29 games: 50-of-54 on field goals and 94-of-96 on extra points. That's six misses in his past 35 regular-season games.
He missed the start of camp after testing positive for COVID-19.
“I trained pretty hard right before camp, so having a couple days off of the legs wasn’t a bad thing for me,” he said at the time. “I’m going into my 14th season, so rest and recovery is a big part of my process whenever I hit it hard for a couple days. So, I really tried to focus on my mental processes and the things that I could control through that quarantine. I feel like I came out of it really strong. I feel like I'm hitting the ball really well. The pop in my leg feels as good as it has in years.”