I know I'm stating the obvious, but the Detroit Lions are going to have to make another change at kicker this week. They were hoping that Alex Henery would be the answer after Nate Freese kicked himself out of a job, but that's clearly not going to happen. Henery missed all three of his field goal attempts on Sunday, including one that would have potentially won the game. Instead, his final miss set the Buffalo Bills up to make a 58-yarder, giving them the win.
Unlike the last time the Lions changed kickers, there is actually an obvious solution to their problem: Matt Prater. He was just released by the Denver Broncos on Friday after the team decided to stick with Brandon McManus. Prater was set to return from a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy, but the Broncos decided to move on instead.
With Prater now on the open market, the Lions should already be on the phone with his agent to get a deal done. Yes, Prater has dealt with some alcohol issues, and his suspension is a bit of a concern. However, he went 25-for-26 on field goals last year and made all 75 of his extra points. He was the best kicker in the NFL a year ago, and he even made a 64-yard field goal. Granted, that was in the thin air of Denver, but he is much more reliable than anybody the Lions have had at kicker since Jason Hanson retired.
Interestingly enough, Prater is actually already familiar with the Lions. He began his NFL career in 2006 with the Lions as an undrafted free agent. He was only brought in to be a camp body, but now the Lions need him for much more than that. Hopefully they will act quickly and have Prater in place as their kicker within the next 24 hours.