Zuerlein struggled for much of this season, finishing 20-of-30 on field goals and 26-of-28 for extra points. After a stellar 2013 season, Zuerlein has seen his field goal percentage dip from 92.9 to 66.7. More disconcerting is the struggles from deep, as the normally sure-legged kicker hit only three of his nine attempts from 50-plus yards this season. He's coming into a contract year, so he's going to have to improve those numbers if he wants to be a prized free agent or to get a solid contract from St. Louis.
Zuerlein wasn't listed on the Rams' injury report Wednesday, Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Zuerlein missed Tuesday's session due to illness, but it wasn't severe enough to hinder his practice reps just one day later. While he nailed both field goals and all four extra points in a Week 1 win against the Seahawks, the road may be more difficult in the second meeting of the season, as opposing kickers have combined for 32 points during Seattle's current five-game winning streak.
Zuerlein didn't practice Tuesday due to an illness, Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. An official injury report isn't required of the Rams until Wednesday, but Zuerlein's absence places him on the radar during Week 16. The second half of this season has been plagued by a hip injury and a lack of field goal attempts, as he has been handed just two attempts over his last three appearances. As a result, he sits behind six skill-position players on the NFL-wide leader board with 71 points in 12 contests.
Zuerlein nailed a 19-yarder and added four extra points in Thursday's 31-23 win against the Buccaneers. Zuerlein hasn't been used much since returning from injury, but has hit his only field goal try and made all seven extra points. The Rams' offense came alive a little bit this week, but St. Louis will now run into a hot Seahawks team, which doesn't bode well for Zuerlein's productivity.
Zuerlein (hip) is listed as active Sunday versus the Lions, Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com reports. Zuerlein practiced fully throughout the week, yet the Rams didn't make a firm decision on his replacement, Zach Hocker (thigh), in advance of Sunday's game. With Hocker inactive, his presence was likely a fallback option in case Zuerlein suffered a setback with his hip. Zuerlein will now take aim at improving his standing over the final quarter of the season, though that may be a difficult prospect within the NFL's 31st ranked scoring offense.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
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