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Caleb Sturgis gets the boot

The Chargers are likely all-in on Badgley

Jason Michaels

Ladies and gentlemen, the Chargers are making a change.

Yesterday marked the 5th win in a row for the LA Chargers, but it also was a win that was made unnecessarily difficult due to kicking woes. Kickers get in funks sometimes, it’s true. However, even after changing holders earlier in the season to buy Sturgis a few extra games, the funk only grew worse.

The Chargers missed two extra points and a field goal in the team’s 25–17 win over the Seahawks on Sunday.

After a while, even Philip Rivers had seemingly run out of patience with the kicker.

The veteran has missed six extra-point tries and is 9 for 15 on XPs. He is 9 for 13 on field-goal attempts. Let’s add those together: Sturgis has been 18 for 28 on all kicks this season, or 64%.

Why was he given the long leash that he has enjoyed? In March, Sturgis signed a two-year, $4.45-million contract after sitting out nearly all of 2017 with Philadelphia because of a hip injury. Philly, if you recall, enjoyed their walk-off phenomenon Jake Elliot, who made his mark with a 61-yard bomb to help crush last year’s Giants. The Eagles got lucky with their Sturgis replacement, and the Chargers are hoping that they will do the same.

A quadriceps problem knocked Sturgis out of consecutive games before Sunday, with rookie Michael Badgley filling in.

Badgley was 7 for 7 on extra-point kicks and 3 for 3 on field-goal tries in Sturgis’ absence, though his kickoffs were not as consistently deep. Last week, after Sturgis was deemed healthy enough to return, the Chargers waived Badgley but then re-signed him to their practice squad. It was a move that ruffled a lot of fan feathers, but the Chargers did have a significant investment in their original kicker.

One could say that this could be a new era for the Chargers, where fingernails are not mowed to the bone each time the kicker takes the field. In my estimation, the Badgley era already began a few weeks ago, and it was a welcome relief. Expect the Chargers to make the designation official tomorrow, and they’ll possibly pull in another kicker for the practice squad as even Badgley has a very short resume.

-Jason “Kickin’ it New School” Michaels