The Bengals have been blessed for the most part with the reliability of kicker Mike Nugent over the past two seasons. He’s currently converting 82.6% of his kicks this year, but they likely won’t have his services on Sunday vs. the Dallas Cowboys after he was absent from practice yesterday with a reported calf injury, and the team has just signed free agent kicker Josh Brown. He spent four years with the Rams after entering the NFL with the Seahawks as a seventh-round pick in 2003.
Brown reportedly beat out Neil Rackers and Billy Cundiff at a Tuesday workout. The long-time Seahawks and Rams kicker went 21/28 for the St. Louis Rams last season and hit three of the four he tried for the Jets during this preseason before being cut.
The Bengals also waived center Jeff Faine to make room for Josh Brown on the roster, meaning Kyle Cook will be active for the first time this season on Sunday. He likely won’t get many, if any snaps in his first game back since seriously injuring his ankle during the preseason, but we should expect to see him reclaim his starting spot before the end of the regular season.
Since the Bengals will play Dallas on Sunday, then be on a a short week with the team traveling to Philadelphia to play the Eagles on Thursday Night Football, look for him to start the Week 16 showdown with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Bengals have lost 10 of the past 12 meetings with Pittsburgh, but those two wins came with Cook as the starting center.
The Bengals were also reportedly bringing in free agent kicker Nate Kaeding in for a tryout today, but Kaeding decided not to tryout as he is still collecting a paycheck from the San Diego Chargers, who cut him earlier this season after he suffered a groin injury.