Caleb Sturgis’ leg must look really good behind the scenes, because the Los Angeles Chargers won’t move on from him.
I was criticial of the team’s decision to release punter Drew Kaser earlier this season, and the recent decision to cut Mike Badgley isn’t any better.
Though Badgley had made all of his field goal and extra point attempts since relieving a hobbled Sturgis, Badgley was cut on Tuesday. The team added him to its practice squad on Thursday.
Sturgis should make his return to the field this Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks and because Badgley was brought onto the practice squad, he might be looking over his shoulder before every kick.
Sturgis hasn’t been as accurate as Badgley, missing three field goal attempts this season and a ridiculous four extra points. Yes, the team signed him to a two-year deal this offseason, but that shouldn’t make him invincible.
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Badgley has been a better kicker. In the preseason, Roberto Aguayo was a better kicker and going back to last season, though most of the kickers on the team played poorly, I’d take Nick Novak over Sturgis right now with almost no hesitation.
Sturgis returns to a situation where he must not miss. But if he does, the team has to be ready to pull the plug. The Chargers have won four games in a row and a bad kick here and there could end that.
Last season, Chargers fans had to deal with a team that narrowly missed the playoffs because it couldn’t make kicks. This season, a deep playoff run could be in store, but if Sturgis lining up to kick a game-winning field goal to send the Bolts to the AFC Championship Game, are you going to be able to watch without hiding your eyes?
This is an important decision that could have a serious impact as the season goes on. Sturgis simply can’t screw it up.