Ron Rivera explains he 'said nothing about a kicking change'

Ryan Homler
·2 min read

Ron Rivera explains he 'said nothing about a kicking change' originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

For once, the Washington Football Team entered the new week with an important personnel decision that didn't revolve around the quarterback. Instead, the inconsistent foot of Dustin Hopkins had many wondering if a change at kicker could be coming.

On Monday, head coach Ron Rivera noted that the team was "discussing" bringing in a new kicker.

"It's something that we are talking about and discussing," Rivera said.

There's nothing concrete there, and Rivera went on to note that finding a replacement isn't easy even with numerous kickers on the market. Still, it seemed as if a change was at least put on the table.

Yet on Tuesday, a report surfaced from ESPN's John Keim stating that Washington would be sticking with Hopkins for at least Week 11. On Wednesday Rivera explained that making a change was never something that was really considered, as it was just a thought.

“I didn’t say anything about considering a kicking change, okay. Let’s be straight on that," Rivera said."The only thing I said is, they asked me if I’m thinking about it, yeah I’m thinking about it. But I said nothing about a kicking change.”

“Like I said, I have said nothing about a kicking change," Rivera said.

Semantics aside, the fact of the matter is that Rivera has enough confidence to remain with Hopkins moving forward. That's not an easy decision to make considering how the kicker's 2020 has gone so far.

12-of-17 on field goal attempts, Hopkins is way below his typical season averages. In his five prior campaigns as Washington's kicker, his average never dipped below 81%. It's currently at 70.6%. Hopkins is also 6-of-10 on field goal 40 yards or longer, making it a gamble to send him out for anything beyond a chip shot.

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That inconsistency has potentially led Washington to bypass field goal attempts and leave points on the board, and such as in Week 10 when they lost by just three points, Hopkins' missed kick loomed largely.