The San Diego Chargers have placed former Iowa kicker Nate Kaeding on injured reserve Monday. As soon as Kaeding is healed enough from his groin injury to go off IR, the Chargers will release him according to this NFL.com report.
Kaeding had gotten off to a great start this season, hitting on all seven of his field goal tries and putting half of his 16 kickoffs in the end zone for touchbacks. But he hasn’t played in the last three games because of the injury. He was replaced by Nick Novak, who replaced him last year when Kaeding tore an ACL in the first game of the season.
Novak is on his fourth NFL team. He is 5-of-6 in field goals this season, 51-of-70 (72.9 percent) in his career.
Kaeding is in his ninth season as a pro. He has made 87 percent of his career field goal tries (180-of-207) and has distance. He’ll turn up somewhere else.
It can’t happen, however, until Kaeding is ruled healthy and is then released. NFL teams can’t have any contact with him until that occurs.
The situation the past few weeks is that the Chargers had to carry both Novak and Kaeding on their 52-player active roster.
“It puts the team in a bad situation,” Kaeding said Monday night. “It’s a numbers game. They can only hold on to a couple kickers for so long.”
The Chargers’ announcement, however, “came as a bit of a surprise to me. The team had said when I got healthy I’d be back out there.
“At the same time I’m excited about the potential opportunity for employment somewhere else. I’ve been in the same place for nine years and it’s been a good experience. But now I’ll get to experience something different.”
Kaeding said he will try to stay sharp by working with former NFL kicker John Carney, who instructs kickers and punters in San Diego.
“I’ve got to move forward,” he said. “I was going to be a free agent at the end of this year, one way or the other. Unfortunately, now it’s moved up a couple of months.”
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