Colts Claim Kicker Chase McLaughlin Off Waivers

Colts Claim Kicker Chase McLaughlin Off Waivers

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Colts Claim Kicker Chase McLaughlin Off Waivers

The Colts now have two kickers on their roster after they claimed kicker Chase McLaughlin off waivers. Why did the Colts feel the need to bring McLaughlin onto their 53-man roster?

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INDIANAPOLISWith the Colts now 13 weeks into the mess that has been their kicking situation this season, they have finally made a roster move at kicker.

 

On Wednesday, the Colts claimed K-Chase McLaughlin off waivers from the San Francisco 49ers.

 

That news comes on the same day Adam Vinatieri (knee) was on the injury report for the first time this season.

 

Frank Reich said the injury situation for Vinatieri flared up in warmups this past Sunday. Despite the injury, the Colts still had Vinny attempt field goals of 55, 52 and 46 yards. He missed all 3 with 2 of those being blocked.

 

“Actually, before the (Titans) game in pre-game warmups this past weekend, (Vinny) was having some problems with the knee," Reich told SIRIUS XM Radio on Wednesday night. "(He) gutted it out, was fine, did what he had to do to get through the game.

 

"Then came out here earlier this week and it was not responding the way I think he was looking for it to respond. So we got some scans on it. We’ll consult with the doctors, figure out what we need to do and monitor it as the week goes along.”

 

The addition of McLaughlin, giving the Colts an uncharacteristic number of 2 kickers on their 53-man roster, is notable for several reasons.

 

For one, McLaughlin is a guy the Colts originally worked out back in Week Three of the regular season, after Vinatieri had missed 5 kicks in the first two games of the season.

 

McLaughlin has been busy this season kicking in seven games for the Chargers and 49ers. He is 13-of-17 (76.5%) on field goals and a perfect 15-of-15 (100%) on extra points. By comparison, Vinny is 17-of-25 (68.0%) on field goals and 22-of-28 (78.6%) on extra points.

 

At Wednesday’s practice, Vinatieri was kicking, but ended up being limited on the injury report after heading inside with a member of the rehab staff. Back in August, Vinatieri was sidelined for several weeks due to a knee injury on his left plant leg. Even though Vinatieri was not on the injury report in any week during the first three months of the regular season, it’s clear this injury has hindered the future Hall of Fame kicker.

 

Vinatieri turns 47 years old in a few weeks, so any injury at this point of his career can be pretty impactful. We saw that last year, when a groin injury for Vinatieri flared up during a Week 7 game with the Bills, in which he missed a pair of extra points.

 

It remains to be seen if the Colts felt the need to make this move because Vinatieri is hurt and could miss Sunday’s game against the Buccaneers, if they want some direct competition at kicker for the final 4 games off the season, or if this was a move for 2020 and beyond.

 

If this move isn’t strictly for insurance reasons, it does give the Colts a longer-term option at the kicker position. McLaughlin is 23 years old and was an undrafted free agent in 2019 out of the Unversity of Illinois. He was with the Bills this offseason going a perfect 8-of-8 on kicks in the preseason and has also spent time on the Vikings practice squad this season.

 

When December arrives every NFL season, teams all around the league make these sorts of roster moves, with the future in mind.

 

McLaughlin was available because Robbie Gould, San Francisco’s normal kicker, returned to health last week. The 49ers waived McLaughlin on Tuesday after he was inactive this past Sunday.

 

Vinatieri meets with the media every Thursday, so check back in with 1075TheFan.com then for more updates.

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