Urban Meyer says Josh Lambo is “in a better place” but kicker competition continues

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Jacksonville is 0-4, and while it has several problems that are holding it back right now, one of the biggest ones is finding someone capable of routinely kicking the ball through the goalposts.

Starting kicker Josh Lambo, who is the best placekicker the Jags have had since longtime franchise centerpiece Josh Scobee held the position, has had a rough start to the season. Lambo is 0-for-3 on field-goal tries this year, and he’s missed two of his seven point-after attempts.

He missed a large portion of last season with several hip injuries, and he hasn’t looked the same since returning to the field. He missed Thursday night’s game for “personal reasons,” and the team elevated kicker Matthew Wright from the practice squad to start the game. He didn’t attempt a field goal, but he was perfect on his three extra points.

While coach Urban Meyer said earlier this week that Lambo is in a better place mentally, he did confirm that the kicker competition is ongoing.

“He’s—him and Matt (Matthew Wright) are going to—there’s going to be a little competition to see who kicks,” he said. “But Josh (is in) a much better place right now.”

Lambo has been with the team since 2017 after he spent his first two seasons with the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers. He was named a Second-Team All-Pro in 2019.

Meyer said that he respects Lambo and hopes that he will remain with the team moving forward, regardless of the outcoming of the competition.

“I hope not,” he said when asked if Lambo would be gone if he loses the competition. “I like Josh Lambo, I like his commitment to being a great player. He’s in a slump right now, but there’s also the reality. The reality is you’ve got to put it through the uprights. We are all pulling for him—I can tell you this, the whole team is pulling for him. He’s a great guy that works his you-know-what off.”

Those are certainly strong words of support from the head coach, but ultimately, Lambo will need to find a way to get back to his previous high-level kicking. Regardless of what Meyer says, using two roster spots on kickers isn’t a good tactical move, and whoever isn’t starting on Sunday will likely be heading to the practice squad, at least.