Santos sent packing
Cairo Santos said Sunday that he was “shocked.”
Monday, he was unemployed.
In a move that was hardly a surprise, the Titans released the substitute kicker a day after he missed four field goal attempts in a 14-7 loss to the Buffalo Bills at Nissan Stadium. Santos missed from 50, 36 and 53 yards and had a 33-yard attempt blocked.
It tied the worst performance by an NFL kicker in any game dating back to 1970.
“I am shocked, very shocked right now,” Santos said following the game. “But something happened because I haven’t missed four kicks even in practice in years. So just sorry.”
In addition to Santos, offensive lineman David Quessenberry was released. Quessenberry provided depth at tackle while Taylor Lewan served his four-game suspension and even caught a touchdown pass when he was used as an extra tight end.
Tennessee did not immediately sign a replacement for Santos. Coach Mike Vrabel and Jon Robinson had a noon meeting to discuss personnel issues and injuries (it is part of the regular day-after-game schedule) and the decision was announced a short time later.
The Titans signed Santos as a temporary replacement for Ryan Succop, who was placed on injured reserve due to continuing issues with offseason knee surgery.
The Titans expect Succop return from IR before the end of the season. However, league rules stipulate that he cannot practice before Week 6 and cannot be added to the active roster until after Week 8.
“I haven’t missed a kick under 40 yards in probably two years or something between practices and that is something that hasn’t showed up until (Sunday),” Santos said. “It’s humbling because you work hard and you think you are immune to some things because how confident you’re kicking, how well you are kicking.
“It just happens that days like this are part of a life as athlete.”
So are days like Monday.
The Titans were Santos’ fifth team in a six-year career and his fifth since the start of the 2017 season. The only place he enjoyed an extended stay was at Kansas City, where he won a training camp battle with Succop and played 51 games over three-plus seasons before he was released.
In five games with Tennessee he made four of nine field goal attempts, including one from 53 yards, which was one yard shy of his career long. He also was 12-for-12 in extra-point attempts.
“I mean (the Titans) deserve for me to do my job better,” he said.