Hopkins appeared to injure his leg during a kick early in Monday's 19-16 win over the Denver Broncos. Punter JK Scott replaced him on the ensuing kickoff, but Hopkins maintained field-goal duties through the game.
It's a good thing for the Chargers that he did. Hopkins finished 4-of-4 on field goal attempts, including a late kick to send the game to overtime and the game-winning 39-yarder in the extra session. For his effort, he got a hero's reception and a game ball.
DUSTIN HOPKINNSSSSS!!!! pic.twitter.com/SniguRrg98
— Los Angeles Chargers (@chargers) October 18, 2022
Now's he's headed for the sideline. Head coach Brandon Staley announced on Tuesday that Hopkins will miss 2-4 weeks while recovering from a hamstring injury. And it sounds like Hopkins' postgame dramatics were more than just dramatics.
"Before every kick you knew that it was going to feel like somebody stabbed you with a knife," Hopkins said Monday night. ... "Pain is temporary. I was just kind of committed to swinging and dealing with the pain after the kick."
In Hopkins' stead, the Chargers will once again lean on 29-year-old rookie Taylor Bertolet to handle kicking duties. The Chargers elevated Bertolet from the practice squad in Week 5 when Hopkins was sidelined with a quad injury. He hit all three of his extra point attempts and went 3-for-3 on field goals with a long of 28 yards in a 30-28 win over the Cleveland Browns. Now he'll get his second NFL shot in a Sunday game against the Seattle Seahawks.