The Indianapolis Colts released kicker Rodrigo Blankenship after a series of disappointing performances that ultimately led to the kicker being responsible for missing a 42-yard, game-winning field goal that would have marked a huge start for the Colts this season.
Quarterback Matt Ryan led the Colts to an impressive comeback that resulted in the team tying the Houston Texans. The Colts were down 20-3 going into the fourth quarter. Ryan drove the team down the field three times in a row with the third drive resulting in a 15-yeard touchdown pass to Michael Pittman with 1:54 left on the clock to tie it up.
Blankenship aided in that comeback hitting two field goals from 45 and 27 yards as well as two extra points. However, during overtime Ryan led the Colts into field goal range during a 13-play drive. Blankenship came on to hit the game-winning field goal, but he sailed it wide right.
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That wasn’t his only mistake during the game, he also sent two kickoffs out of bounds leading to the Texans getting excellent field position and putting the Colts defense in a tough spot.
Following these miscues, Blankenship was released. While they released Blankenship the team also announced they signed kickers Chase McLaughlin and Lucas Havrisik for their practice squad. They will likely be promoting one of the two new kickers to the active roster soon since the Week 2 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars is this upcoming Sunday.
The team did go ahead and fill the vacant position on the 53-man roster with new cornerback Tony Brown who was already training with the practice squad.
Blankenship’s short-lived NFL career started out with much higher expectations compared to how things have ultimately turned out for the young athlete.
Blankenship started as a rookie and joined the Colts back in 2020, connecting on 30 out of 33 of his first field goal attempts. However, things started to not look so good towards the end of his rookie season, hitting ultimately 32 out of 37 attempts, as well as missing a 33-yard field goal that led to an embarrassing loss to the Buffalo Bills.
After dealing with an injury that sidelined him early in the 2021 season, Blankenship was later replaced by Michael Badgley, who remained in the kicker position for the rest of the season while Blankenship recovered. He would eventually regain his position on the team but barely outperformed some of the potential replacements he had to compete against, including up-and-comer Jake Verity.
After this Sunday’s poor performance, Colts head coach Frank Reich commented on Blankenship’s then-potential dismissal from the team as reporters eagerly asked whether this was the straw which broke the camel’s back.
“If you play long enough, you’re going to have a bad day, or bad days,” said Reich. “Your confidence is going to waver. It’s how you respond to that, and it’s everybody, there’s no exception.”
“Do we have the patience for a guy to bounce back?” Reich concluded. The obvious answer to that was no.
Do you think the team made the right call waiving Blankenship from the roster right at the beginning of the season? Let us know in the comments below and across social media.