RICHMOND—The Redskins signed Kai Forbath, their placekicker since midway through the 2013 season, to a restricted free agent tender during the spring. They showed faith in him by bringing only rookie free agent kicker Ty Long out of Alabama-Birmingham to training camp. It seemed that Long was brought in more to give Forbath’s leg some rest during camp and preseason games rather than as true competition.
Now about 10 days into training camp it still doesn’t look like Long will be on the roster when the season starts. But it looks like there’s a chance that Forbath might not be kicking for Washington in Week 1 either.
Both kickers have had a rough go of it during training camp. At the end of practice today, Long was four of five with a long of 48 and a miss from 40.
But Forbath is the main cause for concern. He has had a rocky camp so far and it continued on Saturday. Forbath went three for five with makes from 33, 38, and 43 yards and misses from 40 and 48.
To be sure, the wind was swirling some and the field was damp due to an expected rain shower. But such conditions will happen during games and kickers deal with them all the time.
If the Redskins were inclined to move on from Forbath based on his performance in practice they may have done so some time ago. Jay Gruden has said a few times that Forbath often struggles in practices but he comes through in games. He has connected on 88.1 percent of his field goal attempts in his career.
But if his struggles should carry over to preseason games, the team would have to consider making a change. If they don’t have confidence in Long, they could hold tryouts and find another competitor for Forbath.
It doesn’t look like the Redskins are to that point yet. But if you see Forbath miss a 40-yarder during a preseason game, don’t be surprised if phones of unemployed kickers across the country start ringing with calls from a 703 area code.