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The Indianapolis Colts are expected to have an open competition at the kicker position when the team opens training camp at the end of July.
Even though Rodrigo Blankenship won the job in 2020 as an undrafted rookie, his struggles from deep lengths have brought about some concern in terms of how viable he can be as an all-around kicker.
Blankenship will have the leg up but will have some stiff competition from Eddy Pineiro, who signed with the Colts following the draft.
“Not quite like last year, it’s open competition but Hot Rod (Rodrigo Blankenship), he’s the incumbent. Everything has to be earned,” head coach Frank Reich said Wednesday. “Hot Rod had a good season for us last year, so that’s obviously taken into consideration. He’ll have to earn it again this year, but it is open competition.”
Blankenship was 32 of 37 (86.5%) on field-goal attempts and 43 of 45 (95.6%) on extra-point attempts. Those are solid—even good numbers—but he only made one of three attempts from 50 yards or more.
Pineiro appeared in one season with the Bears in 2019. He converted 23-of-28 field-goal attempts (82.1%) and 27-of-29 extra-point attempts (93.1%). He was 2-of-2 from over 50 yards.
Pineiro spent the 2020 season on the injured reserve list due to a groin injury he suffered during the preseason.
The Colts preach competition at every position, and kicker is definitely one to keep an eye on during training camp.