The Kansas City Chiefs had a successful road trip in Week 1 but they did suffer a few potential injury losses ahead of Thursday Night Football on September 15.
One came at kicker after Harrison Butker “rolled his ankle on a kickoff attempt and exited before ultimately returning to action and even draining a 54-yard field goal” — per Jordan Foote of Sports Illustrated.
Head coach Andy Reid did not provide an update on Butker after the game, except that the injury was to his plant foot (left ankle). Having said that, a Monday morning workout could foreshadow that the issue is more serious than Big Red led on.
Chiefs Work out K Tristan Vizcaino After Week 1 Injury
According to Pro Football Network insider Aaron Wilson, the “Chiefs are working out veteran kicker Tristan Vizcaino today.” The reporter added that the special teamer has spent time with the Cincinnati Bengals, Dallas Cowboys, Minnesota Vikings, and San Francisco 49ers — but he weirdly left out his most successful and recent NFL stint with the AFC West rival Los Angeles Chargers.
Vizcaino started six games at kicker for LAC, making six of his seven field goal attempts with a 46-yard long. The main reason he lost his job appeared to be his ability on extra points.
The former UDFA shockingly missed five out of 15 PATs with the Chargers in 2021, for a conversion rate of 66.7%. Vizcaino has one career punt for 32 yards and a kickoff average of 64.4 yards per attempt.
Compared to Butker, those numbers are a clear step-down, aside from the kickoff average which actually bests the KC veteran’s 63.4-yard average.
Vizcaino could serve as short-term insurance as the Chiefs prepare for a quick week against a key division rival — who just so happen to be the kicker’s former employer.
There’s Always Justin Reid…
Of course, the Chiefs have one more option on the roster if Butker can’t go, safety Justin Reid! Kidding, but Reid’s performance in Week 1 was impressive all things considered.
Ex-NFL punter and popular podcaster Pat McAfee tweeted that he was “flabbergasted” with how “damn great” Reid is at kickoffs. In an earlier reaction, McAfee noted that the “freak athlete” was “bombing balls #forthebrand.”
Still, that’s not bad for a defensive player kicking in front of thousands of people. I subbed in at kicker in high school once or twice due to injury and let me tell you, it’s not as easy as it looks.
The funniest reaction of all came from New York Jets FanSided webpage, “The Jet Press.” After Gang Green’s new kicker Greg Zuerlein missed both a field goal and an extra point in Week 1 — and their safeties got burnt on a 55-yard touchdown pass — their Twitter account voiced that “the Jets need to trade for Justin Reid and start him at free safety and kicker.”
As for Reid, the happy-go-lucky personality joked that they “might need to talk about putting some incentives in [his contract for kicking]” after the game.
“I just got thrown straight into the fire, to be honest with you,” the safety told reporters. “They let me know Butker hurt his ankle and that I was up, and I was like — ‘Okay. Let’s ride.’ I knew I was ready for it. Never short of confidence, so I had a lot of fun with it.”
It’s good to have an emergency kicker like Reid on the 53-man roster, should the Chiefs ever need him again.