The Lions lost a game due to Ryan Santoso’s misses on Sunday, so who could be signed to replace him?
The now 0-8-1 Detroit Lions have lost games in a number of fashions this season. But on Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers, with the failures of the Jared Goff-piloted pass offense noted, kicker Ryan Santoso missed an extra point in regulation and a 48-yard field goal late in overtime. Making the extra point would have obviously made overtime unnecessary.
A holding penalty on tight end T.J. Hockenson cost the Lions valuable yardage they didn’t get all of back before Santoso’s overtime field goal attempt. Heinz Field is also notably tough to kick in, and bad weather didn’t help matters. In perfect conditions, 48 yards is still not exactly a chip shot.
But this kick had absolutely no chance.
Austin Seibert (10-for-12 on field goals this season) is on IR with a hip injury and he’ll miss at least two more games. Santoso filled in for two games earlier in the season when Seibert was out due to COVID-19, but Sunday’s showing was his worst and his hold on the job should not be great heading toward Week 11 against the Cleveland Browns.
Talking about kickers feels like it shouldn’t be a priority for a winless team, but the Lions would be 1-8 if Santoso could’ve made an extra point in less than ideal conditions NFL kickers often experience. So if the possibility is entertained, even with the idea Seibert could be back as soon as Week 13, who could be signed to take over for Santoso?
3 kickers the Lions could sign to replace Ryan Santoso
3. Dan Bailey
Once upon a time, Bailey was one of the most accurate kickers in the NFL (and in league history) with the Dallas Cowboys. After a down 2017 the Cowboys cut him, and he spent the last three seasons with the Minnesota Vikings. He alternated bad and good seasons in Minnesota, reaching a low-point in 2020 when he went 15-for-22 on field goals (68.2 percent) with six missed extra points.
Bailey might just be done after being cut by the Vikings and remaining unsigned this long. But he is at least experienced, and being away from a head coach who is somewhat known as a kicker-killer in Mike Zimmer might be helpful to him.