Five bold predictions for the Washington Football Team in 2020
By Jonathan Eig
4. Washington will use multiple kickers in 2020
I’ll focus it like this. Someone other than Dustin Hopkins will kick a field goal for the Washington Football Team in 2020.
Hopefully, Hopkins will be fine throughout the entire year, but I’m just looking at numbers. Even without the special circumstances of 2020, there was about a one in four chance that another kicker would play for the team at some point.
That’s what happened in 2019, when eight NFL teams had more than one player attempt a field goal. Two teams – Tennessee and the Chargers used three placekickers. New England, who as we know, always has to show off, used four.
I don’t know what the math says, but I’m thinking conservatively that a player will be at least twice as likely to miss at least one game in 2020 as he would have been in years past. If that is the case, then it is likely that 50 percent of all teams will need a second kicker at some point.
Every GM – or whatever WFT is calling Kyle Smith these days – has an updated list of free-agent kickers, and has the agents of their favorites on speed dial. Beyond that, every team will be giving their punters extra placekicking practice.
In WFT’s case, since punter Tress Way serves as their holder, that also means that Kyle Allen or a good-hands back-up like Trey Quinn will be logging some time practicing holding. And anyone who is listed as a center will be working on long-snapping in case Nick Sundberg has to miss time.
The specialists – kicker, punter, holder, snapper – all have emergency backups. But most teams do not devote very much time to these contingency plans. That will change in 2020. Were I a little bolder, I’d predict that all four of those jobs will be handled by multiple players at some point during the season. But for now, I’m just going with the placekicker.