Titans Try Another Reboot at Kicker

David Boclair

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Titans are on to number four in their search for someone to get them three points when needed.

Kicker Greg Joseph was signed to the active roster Wednesday off of Carolina’s practice squad and will handle all of the placekicks and kickoffs Sunday against the New Orleans Saints at Nissan Stadium.

Ryan Succop was placed on injured reserve Wednesday, which means the most forgettable season of his career has ended. A day earlier, the Titans released Ryan Santoso, who had been their kickoff specialist for the previous three contests.

Succop spent the first eight weeks of the season on IR and during that time Cairo Santos was the kicker for five games and Cody Parkey had the job for three. Together, those three have made eight of 18 field goal tries (44.4. percent), which has the Titans on pace for a historically bad conversion rate.

In six games, Succop made just one field goal in six attempts and converted 24 of 25 extra points.

“I don’t wish ill on any kicker ever,” Joseph said. “But yeah, you have to be aware and it’s part of my job to be aware of what’s going on and all that fun stuff. So, I was just staying ready and doing my part.”

Joseph was the only kicker on an NFL practice squad this season.

Undrafted out of Florida Atlantic in 2018, he spent training camp and preseason with Miami but was cut at the start of the regular season. Cleveland signed him in Week 3 and in 14 games for the Browns he was 17-for-20 on field goal attempts and made 25 of 29 PATs. More than two-thirds of his kickoffs resulted in touchbacks.

“I don’t know what the expectations would be for a kicker other than to make the kicks,” coach Mike Vrabel said. “And, obviously, to give us balls to cover downfield [on kickoffs]. We know not every kick is going to be a touchback, but hang time, direction – there’s a lot of things that go into that.”

The Titans are not the only ones that have had issues with kickers this season. As of late November, the NFL’s overall field goal rate was just below 80 percent. The last time the kickers collectively made less than 80 percent for an entire season was 2003.

Tennessee’s struggles have been particularly noticeable, though. Succop had a kick blocked Sunday against Houston, and the Titans lost by three. He was 0-for-3 on field goal attempts in his first game, a 10-point defeat at Carolina. And Santos lost his job after he went 0-for-4 in a seven-point loss to Buffalo in Week 5.

“It’s been an interesting year,” Joseph said. “But [I’m] here for a reason. I believe everything happens for a reason. I really do believe that. So, I’m just staying the course and doing what I can do.

“… I’m always going to be confident in myself and my ability. … I’m going to do this job to the best of my ability every single day I’m here.”

Also Wednesday, the Titans promoted linebacker Nigel Harris from the practice squad to the active roster. Wide receiver Trevion Thompson, an undrafted rookie out of Clemson who spent time with the Chargers and Buccaneers, was added to the practice squad.

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