BBD Editor: Dan Hope
The Buffalo Bills’ 53-man roster will almost certainly have changes from week to week throughout the regular season, but at least for now, the Buffalo Bills have set their first 53-man roster of the season. They made the final move to fill their roster Tuesday with the signing of recently well-traveled kicker Dan Carpenter.
The move to sign Carpenter came as a surprise when initially reported, as rookie sixth-round pick Dustin Hopkins had an impressive preseason to beat out longtime veteran Rian Lindell in training camp. The move came as a necessity, however, after Hopkins suffered a groin injury in practice, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The move will most likely be a temporary one, as the team will have no reason to carry two kickers on their roster once Hopkins is healthy. In need of a quick addition, however, Carpenter was the best kicker on the market.
Carpenter was struggling to find a job: he was cut by three different teams in August (Miami Dolphins, Arizona Cardinals, New York Jets), but was en route to a tryout for the Cleveland Browns, according to Mary Kay Cabot of The Plain Dealer, before getting the call from the Bills.
While Carpenter is struggling to maintain his place among the NFL’s 32 best kickers, in large part due to some inconsistency and missed kicks in clutch situations, he has a career field goal percentage of 81.9 and made 22 of 27 attempts last season.
Assuming Hopkins’ injury will only keep him out for a short period of time, the Bills will likely carry both kickers until Hopkins is healthy, then release Carpenter. Hopkins is a younger kicker with a stronger leg than Carpenter, and the team invested a draft pick in him for a reason. At least for Week 1, however, it appears likely that Carpenter will kick for the Bills and Hopkins will be among the team’s designated inactives.