It appears that Nate Freese will get at least one more chance to cement his status as the Detroit Lions' kicker. There was talk this week that he might be released after missing a pair of field goals against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, but the Lions are sticking with him for at least one more game.
Jim Caldwell on K Nate Freese: "He is our guy." The rookie will be the #Lions kicker Sunday.— Josh Katzenstein (@jkatzenstein) September 17, 2014
This news isn't exactly surprising. During training camp, Giorgio Tavecchio seemingly was the more consistent kicker, but the Lions went with Freese, who they selected in the seventh round of this year's draft. Clearly they are willing to give Freese a chance to get things turned around following his 2-for-5 start to his career.
The best-case scenario here is that if Freese is called upon against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, he makes all of his kicks, regains his confidence, remains the Lions' kicker going forward and we all forget about his rough start. The Lions drafted him to be their kicker for the foreseeable future, and there's still a chance that things could work out if he gets back on track this week.
On the flip side, Freese is probably going to be released if he misses even one kick this week. The Lions brought in three kickers for a workout on Tuesday, so they already have some guys in mind if a replacement is needed. They are obviously hoping it doesn't get to that point, but if the Lions leave any more points on the field this week because of Freese's struggles, they will have to go in a different direction.