Colts Make Final Decision at Kicker, Sign 2 Players to Practice Squad

Frank Reich

Getty Head coach Frank Reich and the Indianapolis Colts have made a decision at kicker.

The Indianapolis Colts have made a final decision for a key special teams role.

Indianapolis announced on September 20 that it has released kicker Lucas Havrisik. That means Chase McLaughlin will be the Colts kicker going forward.

The Colts signed both players to the team’s practice squad after waiving Rodrigo Blankenship on September 13. Indianapolis promoted McLaughlin to the active roster for Week 2.

McLaughlin didn’t miss any kicks, but he didn’t attempt any either, as the Jacksonville Jaguars shut out the Colts, 24-0, in Week 2. McLaughlin’s 1 kickoff went for a touchback.

In addition to releasing Havrisik, the Colts also released tight end Jared Scott from the practice squad. To fill those spots on the practice squad, Indianapolis announced it has signed tight end Nakia Griffin-Stewart and guard Arlington Hambright.

Colts Choose McLaughlin as Kicker

While McLaughlin only took the field once, for a kickoff, in Week 2, the Colts have apparently seen enough from McLaughlin in practice to feel confident with him as their kicker.

He previously kicked for the Colts in 2019. McLaughlin went 5-for-6 in 4 games for the Colts at the end of that season.

Ironically, Blankenship beat out McLaughlin during 2020 training camp. Now, it’s McLaughlin replacing Blankenship a little more than 2 years later.

The Colts released Blankenship after he missed a game-winning field goal attempt in Week 1 versus the Houston Texans. Blankenship also hit 2 kickoffs out of bounds, allowing the Texans to start drives at the 40-yard line.

Blankenship made just 69.6% of his field goals in his final 8 games with the Colts dating back to the end of the 2020 season. He only kicked in 5 games last year because of an injury.

McLaughlin possesses a 75.5% field goal percentage on 49 career attempts. In addition to the Colts, he’s kicked for the Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars, Los Angeles Chargers, New York Jets and San Francisco 49ers.

With McLaughlin, the Colts now have a different kicker and punter than last season. Colts punter Rogoberto Sanchez, who also served as the team’s kickoff specialist, torn an Achilles tendon on August 23 and will miss the entire 2022 campaign.

Matt Haack is Indianapolis’ new punter while McLaughlin will serve as the team’s new kickoff specialist. About 45% of McLaughlin’s career kickoff attempts have gone for touchbacks.

Havrisik’s release marks the second time the Colts have let him go this year. He was previously a training camp invitee.

Havrisik made Pac-12 honorable mention with the Arizona Wildcats in 2020 and 2021.

Colts Add Experience to Practice Squad

Waiving Havrisik and Scott opened space for the Colts to add players (Hambright and Griffin-Stewart) with a little more experience.

Hambright has the most experience of the two new practice squad players. He’s been in the league for 3 seasons and played 9 games as a rookie with the Chicago Bears in 2020. Hambright played 82 offensive snaps in those contests, which included making 1 start.

He also played 43 snaps on special teams. Hambright was a seventh round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Griffin-Stewart appeared in 2 games for the Chiefs last year, playing 3 snaps.

Just like Havrisik, Scott was an undrafted rookie this past summer. Scott began the 2022 offseason with the Carolina Panthers.

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