Cameron Nizialek‘s job could be in jeopardy.
The Atlanta Falcons‘ punter had a brutal performance during Sunday’s 48-25 loss to the Buccaneers after missing not one––but two––costly punts in the fourth quarter.
Jeff Schultz of The Athletic reported on Sunday, Sept. 19 following the game that the Falcons plan to work out punters ahead of Week 3’s matchup against the New York Giants.
That does not mean they will be cutting Nizialek just yet, but things are not looking good for the former Georgia Bulldog.
“Absolutely, as you guys know, it’s a tough business,” Monday, per The Atlanta Journal-Constitution “We all know what we signed up for. We certainly, we get in there and make sure we are making the best decision for this team. At the same time, there are some positives that Cam has done. … It’s a fine line of not going crazy and jerking the wheel. But also giving yourself some options and competition if we feel like that’s best for us. Noting is off the table.”
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Nizialek found his way to the NFL after making history at UGA three years ago.
The 26-year-old first received his degree from Columbia University in 2017 before transferring to UGA where he played his last eligible season ––the same one that led Georgia to an SEC Championship win and a trip to the National Championship game. As a Dawg, Nizialek averaged 45.0 yards over 61 punts.
Once his college chapter ended, Nizialek had success landing a spot on rosters but nothing with the longevity players are looking for.
The specialist played a short while after his UGA season with the AAF’s Atlanta Legends where he botted a record-high 65-yard punt. He then was signed by the Baltimore Ravens as a kicker, which soon ended with an injury settlement. He also had a short stint on the Jacksonville Jaguars practice squad before the Falcons picked him up for a month in 2020.
Nizialek Is Not the Only One In “Danger”
The Falcons signed Nizialek again this offseason after having to waived second-year punter Sterling Hofrichter with an injury designation. Hofrichter, who was a seventh-round pick of the Falcons in 2020, served as Atlanta’s punter last season, averaging 42.5 yards per kick on 56 punts.
“Sterling, he’s not healthy,” Smith told D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution after having to waive the Syracuse product. “He’ll rehab. It’s not the end of the road for Sterling.”
As for Nizialek, he’s averaged 43.6 yards per kick on 10 punts in the NFL.
But despite a bad game, his job isn’t the only one that’s job could be on the line.
“Like every position, we’ll continue to churn the roster if we feel that’s best for us,” Smith said. “Same thing, we have to evaluate, same thing, no different than (Jalen) Mayfield last week. There are some things Cam, will probably be the first one to tell you, a couple kicks he’d like back.”