Dustin Hopkins

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Dustin Hopkins isn't 100-percent so the Redskins reportedly worked out five kickers


Dustin Hopkins isn't 100-percent so the Redskins reportedly worked out five kickers

Lost in the fact that Tress Way is having a stellar season is that his fellow specialist, Dustin Hopkins, is getting it done, too.

The Redskins' kicker has made 17 of 19 field goals so far in 2018, giving him an 89.5-percent conversion rate on kicks. Against Carolina, he nailed a career-long 56-yarder, plus he's 17-for-17 on extra points.

But on Tuesday, a report came out saying that Hopkins is "a bit banged up." As of now, the Redskins don't know if they'll have Hopkins or not this weekend vs. the Texans, which is why they worked out five kickers five days before the Houston matchup, per Field Yates.

Among the group of free agents was former 'Skin Kai Forbath, who made 32-of-38 three-pointers for the Vikings in 2017. He was with the Burgundy and Gold from 2012-2014 and also briefly in 2015. 

Washington also reportedly tried out two maligned kickers in Roberto Aguayo and Blair Walsh. 

The Bucs drafted Aguayo in the second round of the 2016 draft but he flamed out in Tampa and was gone after a single year and poor 2017 preseason. Walsh, meanwhile, hasn't been the same since missing a 27-yard game winning playoff attempt versus Seattle while he was with Minnesota.  

Rounding out the group was Sam Ficken and Jon Brown.

The Redskins have been very reliant on both Hopkins and Way this season, seeing as their offense has had its issues. They've needed Hopkins to cash in on field goals to avoid wasting points and Way to help win the field position battle each week.

For some franchises, losing a kicker for a week or two wouldn't be much of a problem. And while Washington could very well be OK without Hopkins, they'd rather not have to bring in a new foot for any amount of time.


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This Redskins rule proposal would make kickoffs more entertaining

This Redskins rule proposal would make kickoffs more entertaining

With his ability to limit opposing team's kickoff returners by consistently producing touchbacks, Dustin Hopkins is a solid weapon for the Redskins in the field position game. 

A rule that Washington is proposing to NFL owners at their upcoming meetings, however, suggests that the Redskins want Hopkins and other strong-legged kickers to become even more of an asset than they already are.

In addition, the rule would also breathe some much needed intrigue into kickoffs, which have been reduced to the second-best time to grab another beer behind a commercial break.


The proposal is this: If a kicker splits the uprights with his kickoff, then the other team's offense will take the field at the 20-yard line. As things stand now, any touchback — whether it's downed in the end zone, flies out of the back or sails through the middle of the goalposts — is brought out to the 25-yard marker.

A rule this funky isn't likely to pass on its first time through voting. In fact, who knows if it'll ever pass. 

But maybe, just maybe, one day it will, and guys such as Hopkins and Justin Tucker will become a bit more valuable than they are currently. So, if you're ever watching an NFL game and hear the words, "THE KICK IS GOOD!" on a kickoff, you'll know which team to thank.

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Questions mounting for Redskins kicker Dustin Hopkins, but he won't make excuses

Questions mounting for Redskins kicker Dustin Hopkins, but he won't make excuses

Through six games, Redskins kicker Dustin Hopkins looked like he might be heading to the Pro Bowl. He made his first 12 field goals, and didn't miss a kick until a Week 5 windstorm in Baltimore, opening the year making 15 of 16 field goals. Further, Hopkins proved accurate from deep distances and repeatedly booted the ball out of the end zone on kickoffs.

In the five games since Baltimore, however, Hopkins has begun to struggle. He missed an important kick in Detroit in Week 7 and missed two against the Bengals in London, including an overtime miss that could have won the game. 

On Thanksgiving in Dallas, Hopkins missed two more field goals. That makes the former Florida State kicker 10 of his last 15 kicks. Certainly there are lots of extenuating circumstances surrounding some of the kicks — like a 55-yard attempt against the Cowboys directly into the sun.

Hopkins does not care about the circumstances.

"It's unfortunate, just the nature of the business," Hopkins said following the 31-26 loss to the Cowboys.

Redskins players and coaches support Hopkins, and it's not a surprise if you've met the kicker. He stands out as a nice and genuine guy in a locker room with good character.

"I’m not worried about him," Washington coach Jay Gruden said on Thanksgiving. "I have faith that he’s going to make those kicks. I see him do it every day in practice."

Backing up Gruden's confidence, Hopkins leads the NFL with 25 made field goals this season. Dig a little deeper, though, and that stat isn't quite as impressive. The Redskins offense struggles in the red zone, which means Hopkins gets a lot of field goal opportunities where other teams might be scoring touchdowns. To that end, the 'Skins also lead the NFL with 31 field goal attempts, four more than any other team. 

At 25 of 31, Hopkins is making 80.6 percent of his kicks. That ranks 21st in the NFL. That said, Gruden calls for difficult, deep kicks often, and three of Hopkins' six misses are from 50 yards or greater. 

After a poor effort in the Cowboys game, some players might try to avoid the media or make excuses. Hopkins did neither, and that should give Skins fans confidence that the young man can get back to his early season performance.

"I'm paid to make kicks," Hopkins said. Asked specifically if the glaring sun might have been a factor in his long miss in Dallas, Hopkins was clear, "It was unfortunate where the sun was at the time but when I’m looking down at the ball, that’s not an issue. It’s not an excuse."

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