NFL Rumors: Chargers signing new kicker days before game vs. Patriots

Darren Hartwell
NBC Sports Boston

NFL Rumors: Chargers signing new kicker days before game vs. Patriots originally appeared on nbcsportsboston.com

Every inch matters in playoff football, which perhaps could explain the Los Angeles Chargers' unorthodox transaction Thursday morning.

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The Chargers are signing free agent kicker Nick Rose to their active roster just four days before their AFC Divisional Round matchup with the New England Patriots, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Thursday.

Rose will handle the Chargers' kickoff duties Sunday at Gillette Stadium, per Schefter.

Rose is a relative unknown, having bounced between six teams -- including the Chargers in 2017 -- since signing with the Atlanta Falcons as an undrafted free agent in 2016.

The 24-year-old Hawaii native signed with the San Antonio Commanders of the Alliance of American Football on Dec. 27, 2018, and still was on their official roster as of Thursday morning.

Rookie kicker Michael Badgley has handled kickoffs since taking over for Caleb Sturgis in early November but has struggled mightily: He produced touchbacks on just 16.7 percent of his kicks this season, which ranked dead last in the NFL, and didn't reach the end zone on any of his six kickoffs in last weekend's AFC Wild Card matchup with the Baltimore Ravens.

Ravens return man Ty Montgomery averaged just 17.7 yards on those returns, but the Patriots' Cordarrelle Patterson presents a more dangerous threat, and it appears L.A. is taking preventative measures.

Not that New England is standing idly by, according to ESPN's Mike Reiss.

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