Reports: Bengals trying out kickers

Posted Dec 6, 2012

Mike Nugent

With Mike Nugent shelved Wednesday, published reports say the Bengals are going to try out three veteran kickers Thursday and one of them is old friend Neil Rackers.

It's going to be an interesting roster move. Can the Bengals afford to keep two kickers on the roster and who gets cut to make room if they do?

Nugent didn't go on the field Wednesday and has been seen moving gingerly around the facility 10 days removed from nailing a career-long 55-yarder at Paul Brown Stadium against the Raiders. It's believed not to be a major injury, but it may take a week to get out the tweak.

The reports have Rackers trying out along with Josh Brown and Billy Cundiff, which puts the Bengals in a lot better shape when they couldn't use Nugent the last time and had to go with Aaron Pettrey and Clint Stitser when Nugent tore his ACL two years ago.

But only Cundiff has kicked this season, going 7-for-12 before Washington released him five games into the season. One of those games was against the Bengals and Cundiff hit a 36-yarder.

Brown a nine-year veteran, kicked against the Bengals last season for the Rams but didn't stick this year with the Jets and Arizona. And how ironic is Rackers coming to town? Shayne Graham, the man that replaced him in Cincinnati, now has his job in Houston after Rackers kicked against the Bengals in last year's wild card playoff.

Rackers spent two seasons in Houston after he reached his Pro Bowl potential in some big years with the Cardinals during his seven-year stretch in Arizona. He didn't hook on with the Redskins during this preseason.

Bengals special teams coach Darrin Simmons is a big fan of Rackers and they were all set to be a team when Simmons joined the Bengals in Rackers's fourth season in Cincinnati. But in the last preseason game of 2003, Rackers injured his knee chasing down a bad snap and the Bengals had to go on the waiver wire to get Graham to kick in the first couple of games before they decided to stay with him.

Rackers, a sixth-round pick of the Bengals in 2000, was a victim of PBS's early years with a grass field that was considered among the NFL's worst surfaces. By the time the synthetic turf was placed in 2004, Rackers was in his second season in Arizona. During his three years in Cincinnati, Rackers hit 65.7 percent of his field goals before making 82.6 percent in Arizona, 86.8 percent in Houston, and is 80 percent for his career.


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