Rams give boot to Lucas Havrisik, bring back Brett Maher.
The Los Angeles Rams’ path to a playoff berth encountered an unexpected hiccup as kicker Lucas Havrisik was waived from the team, dampening the celebration for some members. Havrisik, known for his powerful kicks but plagued by accuracy issues, faced the axe after missing two crucial extra points in the Rams’ narrow 26-25 road victory against the New York Giants on Sunday. The game’s outcome hung in the balance, as the Giants had an opportunity for a game-winning field goal in the final moments, but Mason Crosby’s 54-yard attempt veered wide left.
The victory, coupled with a loss by the Seattle Seahawks, secured the Rams’ playoff spot with a 9-7 record, marking their return to postseason action after missing out in the previous year. Rams coach Sean McVay announced on Monday that the team intends to re-sign Brett Maher, who had previously kicked in seven games for them earlier in the season.
Havrisik, a rookie hailing from Arizona and a native of the Los Angeles area, had been the Rams’ kicker for the past nine games. During his tenure, he made 15 of 20 field-goal attempts and connected on 19 of 22 extra-point tries. Maher, who was released after Week 7, demonstrated his kicking abilities by making 17 of 23 field goals and 12 of 13 extra points during his time with the Rams.
The Rams’ kicking situation has been a point of concern this season, with the team collectively leading the NFL in missed field goals (11) and attempts (43). Particularly, their performance between 40 and 49 yards stands at 9 of 15. Interestingly, before acquiring Havrisik from the Cleveland Browns’ practice squad in October, the Rams had considered Mason Crosby, who had a brief stint on their practice squad.
As the Rams navigate the postseason, the adjustment in the kicking department underscores the team’s commitment to ensuring stability and reliability in crucial special teams situations. The decision to bring back Maher reflects a strategic move aimed at fortifying the team’s kicking unit as they pursue success in the upcoming playoff games.