The Los Angeles Chargers have finally admitted there is an issue at kicker and the punter is no longer going to be the right fit in the meantime.
The Chargers will bring in Chase McLaughlin to hold down the kicking spot until Michael Badgley, who has missed this entire season thus far with a groin injury, can get back on the field.
Long has made seven of the nine field goals he’s attempted for the Chargers this season and has also made all nine of his extra-point attempts. Not bad for a punter. So do the Chargers want to give Long a break and a chance to focus on one duty or did he get hurt in the game this past Sunday against the Miami Dolphins? He did have an awkward landing on a kickoff in that game.
McLaughlin was undrafted as a rookie out of Illinois and spent the summer with the Buffalo Bills. He went 3-for-3 on kicking field goals during the preseason but was released at the end of August. He caught on with the Minnesota Vikings and spent a short time on their practice squad, but was a street free agent looking for a job when the Chargers called.
The #Chargers are signing kicker Chase McLaughlin, source said. Michael Badgley is still a couple weeks away after a minor setback in rehabbing from his groin injury. So, McLaughlin — a rookie from Illinois — gets his shot.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) October 2, 2019
Looking into McLaughlin’s college background, it’s clear he was a solid placekicker at Illinois. He made all 79 of his extra-point attempts and showed a big leg while also successfully converting 74.6 of his field-goal attempts.
The idea for him in Los Angeles will be to come in and make kicks when his number is called, keeping the seat warm for Badgley. Hopefully, for the Chargers, McLaughlin works out better than other short-term projects such as Younghoe Koo, Travis Coons and Nick Rose.
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In other moves, veteran tight end Stephen Anderson was called up from the practice squad after Sean Culkin was placed on injured reserve. Culkin’s season is over and the Chargers will hope that the combination of Anderson and Lance Kendricks can step up and make plays until Hunter Henry and Virgil Green are on the field and at 100 percent.
The team has lost out on promising pass rusher, Chris Peace, however. The team has had to waive Peace twice this season to make room for players coming in off the practice squad. On one occasion, Peace cleared waivers and the Chargers re-signed him. Before the team could do that this time, Peace was claimed by the New York Giants and will now look to continue his playing career far from Los Angeles.
Health is adversely impacting the Chargers through four games and one can only hope that the worst of it is behind them.