In a bit of a surprise move, the Chargers not only signed but promoted 2017 kicker Nick Rose to the active roster this morning. While not necessarily a shock, it is a bit perplexing as their current leg, Michael Badgley, is the top reason the Chargers still have a game to focus on.
In fact, just yesterday, I wrote all about how the Money Badger was the most important personnel move that the Chargers had taken all year. Not just improving the team, it can be demonstrated that the Chargers would be out of the playoffs entirely if it weren’t for the incredible leg of Michael Badgley.
However, even after he made perfect marks on his first game with the team, the Chargers sacked him and brought back Caleb Sturgis for a disastrous final game. The reason? Badgley is not very good at kickoffs. Too many drives were beginning with favorable field positions for the other team.
Badgley had a touchback on only 9 of his 54 kickoffs during the 2018 regular season. That 16.7 percent rate was the worst in the NFL among players with at least 10 kickoffs in 2018.
Luckily, the Chargers decided that points on the board are more important than potential points for the other team, and Badgley was brought back for the remainder of the season, where he’s been phenomenal in everything except kickoffs.
Now the Chargers will also have a kickoff ‘specialist’ for the Patriots this weekend: Nick Rose.
Rose kicked in two games for the Chargers at the end of the 2017 season, making 1 of 3 field goals and 5 of 6 extra points. He was yet another bullet point in why the Chargers didn’t make the post season in 2017. However, Rose had touchbacks on 8 of his 9 kickoffs for the team last season.
That’s not a lot of history to go off of there, but it does help explain why the Chargers made this move. They are very aware that the Patriots’ Cordarrelle Patterson averaged 28.8 yards per return during the regular season. He is the difference that could have the Patriots start multiple drives in enemy territory.
This is the most obvious chess move that we’ve seen from the team this year- a dramatic personnel change just to better regulate one special teams opponent. The worry is that this change might somehow affect Michael Badgley, but he has shown the ability to weather greater storms already this year. This also adds a nice security blanket in the event of an injury to Badgley.
With Badgley scoring points and Rose pinning teams deep, the Chargers feel they are ready for whatever happens in Foxborough (if they bring enough layers, that is).
UPDATE: Nick Rose is not yet added to the active roster after all! The original information was based on a source given to Adam Schefter. While the team likely intends to sign Rose, he is not yet active and possibly not signed. He was not at practice today.
Regarding kicker Nick Rose, #Chargers GM Tom Telesco said “there will be no transaction today. “— Mike DiGiovanna (@MikeDiGiovanna) January 10, 2019
If the team is serious about having him this weekend, they will likely make changes to their roster tomorrow.
-Jason “Another kicker story? In the post season?” Michaels