Bengals kicker expected to play vs. Browns

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

Randy Bullock’s calf issue apparently isn’t serious enough to cause Cincinnati Bengals coach Zac Taylor to go searching for a new kicker.

Taylor said he expects Bullock to play Thursday at Cleveland, although he was limited in practice Monday and it’s a short turnaround to the next game.

Bullock, a ninth-year veteran, had a chance to send Sunday’s game into overtime but missed a 31-yard field goal, wide right, with two seconds left and the visiting L.A. Chargers won 16-13. After the kick he bent down holding his right calf, and in his postgame video news conference, he said his left calf cramped up while he planted and swung through the kick.

The Bengals listed him on the injury report Monday with an injury to his calves.

“It’s like any player that feels like they let the team down when in reality it fell on all of us,” Taylor said of how he addressed Bullock after the game. “We all made mistakes in that game. I think anybody who watched the kick, he didn’t kick it like he usually does so obviously something happened, he cramped up. He hasn’t made any excuse for it, it’s just what happened. We just need to move on and be focused for Thursday.”

Bullock had made two field goals earlier in the game, including a 50-yarder. He has made 46 of 50 field goals in the 30-39 yard range during his career and only has one miss under 30 yards. His only miss at the end of a game was in 2016 for Houston in a Christmas Eve game, and his first NFL field goal in 2012 was a game-winner.

If Bullock were to have a more serious problem, it wouldn’t have been easy to bring in a new kicker on short notice anyway with players having to pass a series of COVID-19 tests before joining any new team. The Browns on Monday booted kicker Austin Seibert from their roster and signed kicker Cody Parkey off the practice squad. Seibert missed a PAT and field goal attempt in the Browns' loss to Baltimore on Sunday.

“It’s not easy (to bring someone on short notice),” Taylor said. “It’s Wednesday at the soonest and probably Thursday for most of those guys.”

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