New practice squad rules let the Cleveland Browns carry a second kicker
Former Browns kicker Cody Parkey has rejoined the Cleveland Browns as part of the 16 player practice squad, and under the new rules could temporarily be promoted to the active roster, if Austin Seibert is not quite right physically and needs some extra time to heal up.
Under the new rules, first of all, up to six veterans like Parkey are allowed to be on the practice squad in the first place. That was not the case in years past. Second, up to two players are allowed to be temporarily promoted to the active roster, so that the Browns could have a 54 player or 55 player roster if necessary.
The ideal situation to use this is if there is a key player, such as a kicker, punter, or long snapper who is banged up and needs a week to recover, but not so severely hurt to be placed on Injured Reserve (IR). Under the new rule, a backup (say, Parkey) can be brought up from the practice squad for up to two games, and then sent back down without going through waivers.
It is not quite idle speculation that the Browns may be concerned about Seibert. In 2019, Seibert was listed on the Browns injury report with a right hip injury but did not miss time. His inconsistent kickoffs suggested that he might not have been at 100 percent, although he was able to battle through it.
Perhaps Mr. Seibert and the coaching staff might be a bit irate with your humble reporters at DPD for suggesting there may be concern about Seibert, for whatever reason. However, we were not the ones who brought in four kickers back on August 19, as reported by Tom Pelissero, of NFL.com and NFL Network.
In any case, even if it is just out of the spirit of competitiveness, there is a second proven NFL kicker on the team in Cody Parkey. Parkey did a good job for the Browns as their kicker in 2016, with the main complaint being that he did not have enough distance on his kickoffs.
Well, no wonder. That 2016 team didn’t give him enough opportunities to practice, because they could not score. At any rate, his touchback percentage was 59.6 percent, but he upped that the past two years to 73.3 percent. Lifetime, he has an 84.3 percent conversion average for field goals, and 95.1 percent for extra points.
Seibert’s numbers last year were 86.2 percent for FG, 85.7 percent on extra points and 40.0 percent for touchbacks. It stands to reason that the conversion percentages should improve for a young kicker, but the 40 percent touchbacks seem very weird for a young kicker with the strength that Seibert obviously possesses.
There is no way that a healthy Parkey can outkick a healthy Seibert, but perhaps Seibert could use a little help to retune. A spot start for Parkey may be a real possibility if Seibert misses a few kicks or comes up short on kickoffs.
Or, could we see the Scottish Hammer give it a go on kickoffs? If Seibert does not come around, it’s not crazy to imagine that Parkey might regain his job on a full-time basis.