Injury Forces Change at Kicker

Michael Badgley is added to the active roster after one day on the practice squad. Sam Ficken goes on injured reserve.
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NASHVILLE – Things went from bad to worse for the Tennessee Titans and their placekicker Saturday.

Sam Ficken, who won the job in training camp, was placed on injured reserve and Michael Badgley, added to the practice squad a day earlier, was signed to the active roster. Additionally, veteran Randy Bullock was signed to the practice squad to take Badgley’s place there.

Ficken will miss at least the first three games, and coaches will have to sort out what they have in the other two as the 2021 NFL season kicks off.

Almost certainly, this will now be the third straight season in Tennessee will use multiple kickers. Stephen Gostkowski had the job for 15 games in 2020 before he was placed on the Reserve-COVID 19 list ahead of the finale. Sam Sloman stepped in for him and made the game-winning field goal that clinched the AFC South title. In 2019, Ryan Succop went on injured reserve days before the start of the regular season. The Titans ultimately went through four kickers that year, and those four combined to make just eight of 18 field goal attempts.

Badgley spent all or parts of the last three seasons with the Los Angeles Chargers. In 34 games, he made 52 of 65 field goal attempts (80 percent) and 82 of 86 PATs (95.3 percent). His career-long was a 59-yard field goal (a Chargers record) on Dec. 9, 2018 against Cincinnati.

The Chargers released him on Aug. 31.

Bullock is a nine-year veteran who spent the last four-plus seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals. In 107 career games, he has made 83.2 percent of his field goal attempts (168 of 202) and 95.6 percent of his PATs (215 of 225).

He began his career with three-plus seasons in Houston and also kicked briefly for the New York Jets, New York Giants and Pittsbrgh Steelers.

Ficken was added to the Titans’ injury report on Friday with a right groin injury. His right leg is his kicking leg. The 28-year-old was 4-for-4 on field goal attempts, including one from 58 yards at Tampa, and 9-for-9 on PATs in the preseason. He started training camp with the New York Jets but was cut days into it claimed off waivers by Tennessee.

“That’s the NFL for you,” Ficken said earlier this week. “I certainly didn’t envision getting cut that early in camp. I was kind of surprised by it.”

And uncertainty with the kicker is something of business as usual for the Titans.