Nick Rose to kick off against New England Patriots
Los Angeles Chargers are signing Nick Rose to handle kickoffs in their Sunday playoff vs the New England Patriots, according to ESPN.
Michael Badgley has proven reliable as the Chargers’ placekicker, making five of six field-goal attempts last week and 15 of 16 during the regular season. However, he has just nine touchbacks on 60 kickoffs, including playoffs, this season, which is the worst rate among qualified kickers.
Rose kicked in two games for the for the Chargers at the end of the 2017 season, making 1 of 3 goals and 5 of 6 extra points. More recently, Rose had touchbacks on 8 of his 9 kickoffs for the Bolts last season, and played in eight games for the Redskins as an injury replacement for Dustin Hopkins.
Ahead of Sunday, the Chargers have shown concern over the return of Cordarelle Patterson. Patterson averaged 28.8 yards per return during the regular season, including one taken back for a 95-yard touchdown. Meanwhile, the Chargers held 21.7 yards per kick off return in the regular season, the eight-best rate in the league.
“They have one of the best kick returners that I’ve seen in a long time,” Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn said this week. “So that’s going to be a heck of a challenge for our special teams. It’s a good thing we have one of the better cover units in the league right now, but that’s going to be a heck of a challenge.”
Chargers running back Melvin Gordon was back at practice on a limited basis Thursday and vowed to play through his left knee sprain.
“Just hurt it a little bit,” Gordon said. “Throw a little dirt on it, I’ll be all right.”
Gordon reportedly has a light sprain in his left knee after missing three games late in the year with a similar injury to his right knee. All indications are that he will play Sunday. Center Mike Pouncey was also seen at practice after missing Wednesday’s session with a thumb injury.