Detroit Lions sign yet another kicker, add Sam Ficken to practice squad

Credit: NorthJersey-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: NorthJersey-USA TODAY Sports /

Not even the bye week can stop the Detroit Lions kicker carousel, as they added Sam Ficken to the practice squad on Tuesday.

Austin Seibert opened the season as the Detroit Lions kicker, then he suffered a right groin injury and Dominik Eberle filled in in Week 4. Eberle was replaced on the practice squad last week by Michael Badgley, who did not get a chance to attempt a field goal in Week 5 as the Lions went 0-for-6 on fourth down attempts.

Oh, and Seibert was waived last Friday.

On Tuesday, the Lions signed kicker Sam Ficken to their practice squad.

Ficken has been on seven NFL rosters since going undrafted in 2015. He has kicked in 28 games, four for the Los Angeles Rams over the 2017 and 2018 seasons and 24 over the 2019 and 2020 seasons for the New York Jets.

For his career, Ficken is 35-for-48 on field goals (72.9 percent), with a long of 54 yards (4-for-9 from 50-plus yards out overall), and 49-for-56 on extra points.

Detroit Lions sign Sam Ficken: As the kicker carousel turns

Ficken most recently spent time with the Tennessee Titans in 2021. After initially making the 53-man roster, a groin injury sidelined him before Week 1 and he was replaced by….Badgley. Badgley lasted one game as the Titans’ kicker before he was cut.

It’s not really clear what signing Ficken accomplishes, even just to the practice squad, beyond that he was available and the Lions don’t know what exactly they have in Badgley after literally not giving him a chance to even try a field goal last Sunday. Based on the numbers, Ficken is not a markedly better kicker. He’s a backup plan to what was initially a backup plan.

For whatever it’s worth, Ficken was part of the kicker tryouts the Lions had last week.

As Justin Rogers of the Detroit News noted, the Lions have now reached double-digit kickers on their roster or practice squad since Matt Prater departed in free agency.

And that wasn’t three years ago or something, it was only March of 2021 when Prater signed with the Arizona Cardinals. Kicker is not the biggest issue for the Lions right now, but they’re setting up a training camp-style competition before their next game Week 7 against the Dallas Cowboys.

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