Washington adds new kicker after Joey Slye injury update
By Jerry Trotta
The Washington Football Team’s win over the Seattle Seahawks vaulted them into the second Wild Card spot in the NFC.
While fans are no doubt celebrating the win, a pair of injuries to key players threw a tall glass of cold water on an otherwise thrilling evening.
In the fourth quarter, JD McKissic was carted off the field after suffering a neck injury on a blow to the head. The team is still awaiting test results on McKissic, but his agent alleviated concerns on Twitter by saying he’s “all good.”
The more serious injury came earlier in the game when Joey Slye tweaked his hamstring while trying to chase down his own blocked extra-point, which was returned by Seattle for a two-point conversion.
Ron Rivera confirmed after the game that Slye will miss a minimum of three games and he was placed on IR shortly thereafter. At halftime, Rivera instructed team scouts to prepare for more kicker tryouts this week.
Well, it didn’t take long for that search to conclude, because Washington signed Brian Johnson off the Bears’ practice squad on Tuesday.
The Washington Football Team has identified their new kicker.
Johnson saw limited action with the Saints earlier this season while filling in for injured starter Will Lutz, who sustained a setback in his recovery from core muscle surgery and is out for the season.
For the year, Johnson is an impressive 8-for-8 on field goals, but just 5-for-8 on extra-points, which have been an Achilles heel for Washington. He’s yet to attempt a FG in the 40-49 yard range, but he nailed his only attempt from 50+ yards.
It’s not the most encouraging resume by any stretch of the imagination, but beggars can’t be choosers this late in the season.
Like Slye, Johnson kicked in college at Virginia Tech, which gives you the impression that Washington preferred to add some local flavor with this move. He was a three-year starter for the Hokies, converting field goals at a 76.1% clip (54-of-71) and point-afters at a 100% clip (131-of-131).
Johnson’s lack of experience will make fans uneasy, but the fact he didn’t fall on his face in New Orleans suggests he can handle the pressure. Born and raised in the nation’s capital, however, kicking for his hometown team might give rise to a different level of pressure.
We’ll know soon enough if he can rise to the occasion.
This is just an unfortunate turn of events for Washington. They finally found some stability at the kicker position in Slye, who, before his blocked extra-point on Monday night, hadn’t missed a kick for the Burgundy and Gold.
Entering another must-win game against the Raiders to keep their playoff hopes alive, the Football Team will rely on a guy who’s attempted just 13 kicks in his NFL career in a potential big spot on the road this Sunday.