Despite having missed an extra point in two of the previous three games, Detroit Lions special teams coach Dave Fipp expressed confidence in kicker Riley Patterson last week.
"He’s got two missed PAT’s all year, I think he’s sitting at 94 percent. I’d love to tell you he was 100, I think 94 is kind of around average, Not saying that’s good, not saying that’s what we’re shooting for, but ultimately there is some reality out there..."
There is also a perception, probably a correct one, that Patterson's distance limitations helps drive the Lions' aggressiveness on fourth down. Fipp downplayed that, with weather and other factors in play sometimes.
Patterson did not necessarily appear to be immediately tenuous heading into Saturday night's game against the Denver Broncos. Then, a couple hours before kickoff....Michael Badgley was elevated from the practice squad, and Patterson was inactive.
Detroit Lions seem likely to stick with Michael Badgley as their kicker
Badgley did not attempt a field goal on Saturday night, but he did go 6-for-6 on extra points. He is not exactly a long-field goal maven himself, but he does have a career long of 59 yards. Fipp's training camp assertion that Badgley's limitations on kickoffs was a factor in Patterson beating him out rang hollow then, since Jack Fox is the primary kickoff guy. Now Patterson's perceived shorter-range prowess has been put in peril with the recent missed extra points.
After the game, via Lions Wire, head coach Dan Campbell said there's been a kicking competition in practice going back weeks and Badgley simply won it this past week.
"Yeah, they’ve been competing now for about five weeks,” Campbell said. “I mean before the Chargers. So, this was something we wanted to do, give (Badgley) Badge a go with Riley (Patterson) and they’ve been battling it out, and he (Badgley) won it.”
"For this game, it just was right and it’s been that way for a while and this was the right move and so we’re going to go there. Got a lot of faith in Badgley,”
Badgley seemingly will revert back to the practice squad this coming week, with one of his maximum three standard elevations before he'd have to be signed to the active roster now used. But there's a chance, maybe even a good one, that he's simply signed to the active roster and Patterson is let go.