Raiders place long-time kicker Sebastian Janikowski on injured reserve
Janikowski has been dealing with a back injury
Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski was listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Titans due to a back injury, but on Saturday, his status became clear: He won't play because the Raiders are placing him on injured reserve, the team announced after it was first reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter.
The next man up will be Giorgio Tavecchio, who is being promoted off the practice squad. According to The Athletic's Vic Tafur, the Raiders are going with Tavecchio due to the fact that he is a lefty like Janikowski.
Janikowski has been the Raiders' kicker since 2000, when Oakland made him the 17th overall pick. Up until now, he's only missed four games in his career, appearing in 268 of 272 possible regular season games. In his career, he's converted 80.4 percent of his field goals and 98.9 percent of his extra points. Only Adam Vinatieri has made more field goals since 2000. Janikowski has attempted 22 more field goals than Vinatieri, so he isn't nearly as accurate as the game's best. He does boast a powerful leg, though, having made more 50-plus yard field goals than any kicker in NFL history.
He's hoping to hang around long enough for the Raiders' move to Las Vegas. In June, when he was asked how much longer he wanted to play for the Raiders, he said, "Until they kick me out," according to ESPN. That's probably why he reportedly agreed to a re-work his contract earlier this week.
Meanwhile, Tavecchio -- a Cal product -- has never played in a regular season game, though he's been with the 49ers, Packers, Lions, and Raiders during previous training camps. This preseason, he went 3 of 4 on field goals and 5 of 6 on extra points.
"To me, he's grown," Del Rio said in August, per the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "I think he's right on the edge. We're happy to have him back competing. I think he's a good, young kicker. Those guys sometimes will bounce for a while before they finally catch on and get a career going. He has a lot of desire. He has a good leg. I like the way he's worked."
Finally, Tavecchio will get his chance to kick in the regular season after enduring six NFL training camps. Last year, the Raiders scored the seventh-most points in football, so he should have plenty of opportunities to prove his worth to the Raiders and the rest of the league.
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