Long arrived in the NFL in 2015 as an undrafted kicker out of UAB, where he was a four-year starter. He signed with the Washington Redskins to compete with Kai Forbath for the kicker spot, but ultimately lost and was waived before the start of the regular season.
He also spent time with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2016 during the offseason but was also waived in May 2016.
After a year of inactivity, he signed with the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League and became not only their starting kicker but also their punter.
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He immediately became one of the best players on the team. He spent the 2017 and 2018 seasons at BC, and was named to the 2017 and 2018 CFL All-Star team as a punter. He was the team’s nominee for the 2018 Jeff Nicklin Memorial Trophy, which means he was named as the best player on the team and contended to win the Most Outstanding Player award.
After the 2018 season, the Lions let him go so he could chase his NFL dream, and the opportunity came as he signed with the Chargers. He left the league as an unproven kicker, but Ty comes back as a star CFL punter who also kicked during his tenure in the Great White North.
His dual talent can be very valuable to handle kickoff duties, as well as being a capable emergency placekicker should something happen to Badgley, instead of having to watch more of this:
Chargers punter Drew Kaser missed the net warming up for a potential field goal attempt after the Chargers' main kicker was injured. pic.twitter.com/G3MCh4DpGv
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) November 23, 2017
Regardless of who earns the place on the 53-man roster, it looks like the Chargers will have someone capable manning the spot.
It’s a shame that both of them can’t be on the team, as the two of them are likable guys, with great backstories, production and undeniable talent. Both players make you want to pull for them.
A punter battle may not be the most exciting thing that comes to mind when thinking about exhibition football, but it should prove something interesting to look out for once preseason comes around.