Colts work out kickers, just in case

CARSON, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 08: Head coach Frank Reich of the Indianapolis Colts looks on during the first half of a game against the Los Angeles Chargers at Dignity Health Sports Park on September 08, 2019 in Carson, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Frank Reich’s unwavering support for struggling kicker Adam Vinatieri didn’t keep Chris Ballard from preparing just in case Plan B is necessary.

The Indianapolis Colts’ general manager worked out six kickers Tuesday: Elliott Fry, Cole Hedlund, Greg Joseph, Younghoe Koo, Chase McLaughlin and Cody Parkey.

Monday, Reich reiterated his support for Vinatieri, who has missed five kicks in the first two games: three PATs along with 46- and 29-yard field goal attempts.

“I just want to make this clear: Adam is our kicker,’’ he said.

When asked if the Colts would bring in any kickers for a workout this week, Reich deferred to Ballard.

“Chris handles that,’’ he said. “To be honest with you, when we get in-season, Chris and I have this understanding. I am focused on the next opponent. As far as who we bring in to work out, Chris handles all of that.’’

A look at the kickers brought in:

  • Cole Hedlund: Signed with Colts as undrafted rookie out of North Texas in May. Waived when rosters were cut 53 after converting 6-of-8 field goal attempts and going 3-for-3 on PATs. He hit 42-, 44-, 25-, 41-, 30- and 36-yard attempts and missed from 51 and 45 yards.
  • Cody Parkey: Has appeared in 65 games over the past five seasons. Was with the Chicago Bears in 2018, but struggled from start to finish. Hit just 23-of-30 field goal attempts during the regular season and suffered a “double-doink’’ miss on a 43-yarder that resulted in the Bears dropping a 16-15 playoff decision to the Eagles. Entered the NFL in 2014 as an undrafted rookie with the Colts, who eventually traded him to Philadelphia. Earned a Pro Bowl spot in ’14 with the Eagles on the strength of 32-of-36 field-goal kicking with a long of 54. For his career has converted 99-of-118 field-goal attempts (83.9 percent) and 149-of-156 PATs.
  • Greg Joseph: Handled kicking duties for Cleveland Browns last season. Hit 17-of-20 field-goal attempts and 25-of-29 PATs. His 37-yarder in overtime lifted the Browns over the Baltimore Ravens.
  • Younghoe Koo: Appeared in four games with the Los Angeles Chargers in 2017. Converted 3-of-6 field goals and was 9-for-9 on PATs.
  • Elliott Fry: Lost the kicking competition to Eddy Pineiro with the Chicago Bears. Left South Carolina as the school’s all-time scoring leader and kicked for the Orlando Apollos of the defunct AAF. Hit all 14 of his field goal attempts with the Apollos.
  • Chase McLaughlin: Signed with the Buffalo Bills as an undrafted rookie out of Illinois and briefly was on the Minnesota Vikings’ practice squad. At Illinois, hit 44-of-59 field-goal attempts and all 79 PATs.

You can follow Mike Chappell on Twitter at @mchappell51

And be sure to catch the Colts Blue Zone Podcast:

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