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Ficken Puts an End to Kicking Competition

The Tennessee Titans waived Tucker McCann, which leaves Ficken, a four-year NFL veteran, as the last man standing at his position.

NASHVILLE – It’s over.

The Tennessee Titans ended their search for a new kicker Monday when they waived (injured) Tucker McCann.

The job now belongs to Sam Ficken, who made all three field goals and all six PATs in the first two preseason games. All three field goals were from 44 yards or longer, including one from 58 yards, the longest in a preseason game by a Tennessee kicker during the Titans era (1999-present). He was 2-for-2 in Saturday’s 34-3 victory at Tampa Bay, a game McCann missed because of injury.

Also Monday, tackle Paul Adams and guard Ross Reynolds were waived (injured), and defensive Anthony Rush was placed on the Reserve-COVID 19 list.

NFL rosters must be reduced from 85 to 80 players by Tuesday afternoon, and this round of moves gets the Titans close to that number. They now have 81 players on the active roster.

McCann’s release is the most significant. He signed with Tennessee as an undrafted rookie in 2020 and spent all of last season on the practice squad or injured reserve. He was 2-for-2 on field goal tries with a long of 42 yards in the preseason opener at Atlanta but was injured on his third (also successful) attempt that was negated by a penalty.. He missed all of last week’s practices and the game against Tampa Bay.

Ficken started training camp with the New York Jets but was cut days into it. The Titans claimed him off waivers on Aug. 1, and he replaced Blake Haubeil, an undrafted rookie this year who was McCann’s competition throughout much of the offseason.

In a four-year career that includes time spent with the Los Angeles Rams and New York Jets, he has made 72.9 percent of his field goal attempts (35 of 48) and 87.5 percent of his PATs (49 of 56).

Officially, his career-long field goal is 54 yards. But he topped that Saturday, and in so doing went a long way toward securing the job.

“When you can tell an offense or a quarterback, ‘Hey man, we just have to get it to the 40-yard line here before the end of the half, … we were able to get those yards back and (Ficken) made a huge kick,” coach Mike Vrabel said Sunday.