Were any other Washington Football Team fans mentally drained after Sunday’s win over the Atlanta Falcons? It was one of the most stressful games in recent memory, and that’s saying something if you’ve watched this team consistently.
Among the lowlights were Washington allowing Cordarrelle Patterson to do his best prime Marshall Faulk impression. The former return specialist racked up 116 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns on just 11 touches.
You know what got lost in the shuffle thanks to Taylor Heinicke’s heroics, though? That would be Dustin Hopkins’ shambolic performance.
Hopkins made his only field goal, a 21-yard chip shot in the third quarter, but missed two extra-points that loomed large with Washington trailing by two points after Heinicke connected with Terry McLaurin for a TD with 3:52 left in regulation.
The performance once again had fans clamoring for Washington to bring in a free agent for some competition. Well, those prayers were answered on Tuesday, as the Football Team signed Chris Blewitt to the practice squad.
The Washington Football Team’s latest roster move sends a clear message to Dustin Hopkins.
It might be a stretch to say that Hopkins is kicking for his job — Ron Rivera has repeatedly defended the 31-year-old amid controversy — but that could change after another poor showing against the Saints in Week 5.
At the rate Washington’s defense is giving up points, the offense can’t afford to leave any points on the scoreboard. That goes for the entire offense, not just Hopkins. The veteran kicker just happens to find himself in the spotlight, and rightly so as he was almost directly responsible for a season-defining loss.
So, what do Washington fans need to know about Blewitt? Aside from the fact that he’d become an instant meme (read his name slowly) if he ever missed a big kick, he’s actually never kicked in an NFL game.
Blewitt was last rostered by the Chicago Bears, but was waived during the 2019 offseason and has been kicking around in free agency ever since. While the 26-year-old has struggled to find an NFL home, he was a star in college at Pitt.
By the time he graduated, Blewitt finished as the Panthers’ all-time leader in field goals and extra points. Over his four years at Pitt, he converted 97.1% of his extra points (198-of-204). His field goal numbers aren’t great (69.6% overall), but that can be attributed to lackluster junior and senior seasons. As a freshman and sophomore, Blewitt drilled FGs at an impressive 77% rate.
Again, it’s unlikely that Blewitt pushes to supplant Hopkins. This marks the second time this season that Washington has signed a kicker to their practice squad. The first time, it didn’t amount to anything significant. In early September, they signed Eddy Pineiro but released him one week later.
Perhaps Rivera is embracing the “three strikes and you’re out” approach with Hopkins? In other words, maybe Washington will sign a more high-profile kicker who can actually compete for the job the next time he fumbles the bag?
Whatever the case, this move should send a clear message to Hopkins that Washington isn’t afraid to search for potential replacements — or reinforcements, in this case — if he continues to put his team in adverse situations.