Following Jason Hanson's retirement, the Detroit Lions quickly made a move to sign veteran kicker David Akers. Although the Lions also went on to add Havard Rugland, Akers is fully expected to be their starting kicker in 2013.
If Akers is going to win the job and hold on to it all season, he will have to be much more consistent than he was last season. Akers was released by the San Francisco 49ers this offseason, and they nearly cut him during their run to the Super Bowl because of his struggles. After being Hanson-like in how reliable he was throughout his career, Akers went a dismal 29-of-42 on field goals in 2012.
Why exactly did Akers suddenly struggle so much last year? It turns out that he had a double hernia surgery before last season and re-aggravated the injury a few weeks into the 2012 campaign. From MLive:
"I fell out in practice and kind of went down from that," Akers said. "It was really rainy conditions and I slipped and fell. I didn't think much of it that day, but the next day I had pain in the area where I had surgery. I thought I had re-tore it. I didn't, but it had this inflammation that bothered me all year long."
According to Justin Rogers, Akers had another "procedure" on his groin in February. As a result, Akers isn't actually 100 percent healthy just yet, and he's not kicking very much during the Lions' OTAs. He wants to make sure that he's good to go for training camp, and he especially wants to make sure that injuries don't become an issue again this year.