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Detroit Lions elevate kicker, tight end for Vikings game

The Detroit Lions are elevating kicker Michael Badgley and tight end Anthony Firkser for Week 16 vs. the Minnesota Vikings.

Detroit Lions vs Chicago Bears Photo by Amy Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Detroit Lions announced on Saturday afternoon they are elevating two players for Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings: tight end Anthony Firkser and kicker Michael Badgley.

Neither move is particularly surprising. Firkser is a necessary call-up from the practice squad, seeing as Brock Wright, the team’s TE2, has already been declared out with a hip injury. This will be the first game Firkser will be active for this season. A mid-season addition amidst several injuries to the tight end position, Firkser is a five-year veteran with 106 career catches and 1,207 yards. He’ll provide depth while rookie Sam LaPorta and second-year tight end James Mitchell will likely see an increased role this week. Detroit’s tight ends play could be a key aspect of this game, as the Lions will try to protect Jared Goff from the Vikings’ aggressive defense.

Badgley is the only Lions kicker on the roster after the Lions parted ways with Riley Patterson earlier in the week. Per special teams coordinator Dave Fipp, there was an ongoing kicker battle happening for over a month at practice, and Badgley decisively won it.

“Over the course of six weeks, Badgley had been better, and we didn’t want to rush to make that decision right away,” Fipp said. “We felt like he deserved as fair of an opportunity as we could have given him, but it was clear at the end of the day that he was playing better.”

For his career, Badgley is 94-for-115 (81.7%) with a long of 59 yards—though he hasn’t made one longer than 53 since his rookie season. He is also 161-of-166 (97.0%) on extra points.

This is Badgley’s second elevation from the practice squad, meaning he has one more remaining. If he is elevated again for the Cowboys game, the Lions will have to sign Badgley to the 53-man roster if they plan to play him beyond Week 17.

Notably, the Lions are not elevating veteran defensive end Bruce Irvin. He only has one remaining elevation, and the Lions may be saving it for later.

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