The Green Bay Packers enter their game on Sunday night against the Detroit Lions needing a win to clinch a spot in the NFL Playoffs. They will do so with Mason Crosby as their field goal kicker and kickoff specialist. Last week, in their win against the Vikings, the Packers had elevated kicker Ramiz Ahmed from the practice squad. However, Ahmed suffered a groin injury during warmups and was not available. Presumably, he was going to handle kickoffs for the Packers.
Not that they ended up needing too much extra help. In fact, Crosby proved that he has plenty of power left in his leg. The veteran kicker went out and booted a 56-yard field goal right before halftime. After the game, head coach Matt LaFleur revealed that Crosby had gone rogue on that play. He and Aaron Rodgers had been planning a Hail Mary to end the half.
The Packers Signed a New Kicker, but He Remains on the Practice Squad
Due to Ahmed’s injury, the Packers signed kicker Matt Ammendola. The belief, once again, was that Ammendola would be elevated and kick off for the Packers while Crosby would be the field goal kicker. However, the Packers have opted not to elevate any practice squad players for Sunday’s matchup against the Lions. This, of course, means that Crosby will be handling kickoffs and field goals once again.
It is no surprise that the Packers have been interested in using a kickoff specialist now late in the season. Crosby has kicked off 69 times this season with only 14 touchbacks (20.3%). Last season, Crosby’s kickoffs went for touchbacks 45.7%, which was down from 58.5% in 2020. Even that was down from 62.0% in 2019.
Will This Be Mason Crosby’s Last Year with the Packers?
As fans are well-aware, Mason Crosby is the all-time leading scorer in Green Bay Packers history. That being said, his future in Green Bay has been in question for a couple of years now. Despite a down year in 2021, the Packers brought Crosby back on a one-year deal. At 38 years old, though, it is not a guarantee that he will be back in 2023.