All the talk of Sebastian Janikowski’s back injury wasn’t just a negotiating ploy, it turns out.
Janikowski, who took a $1 million pay cut this week, landed on injured reserve on Saturday. The veteran Oakland Raiders kicker will be placed on injured reserve due to his bad back, ESPN’s Adam Schefter said. The Raiders said they have signed Giorgio Tavecchio off their practice squad and he will kick on Sunday at the Tennessee Titans.
Tavecchio has never kicked in an NFL regular-season game. The Raiders tried out some veteran kickers earlier this week as they discussed the restructured contract with Janikowski, amid reports that Janikowski’s back wasn’t feeling well. Tavecchio has spent each of the past four preseasons with the Raiders without making an active roster. He might want to kick well on Sunday, just to make sure his time as Oakland’s kicker isn’t a short one.
Janikowski, famously selected in the first round of the 2000 draft by the Raiders, has had a good career. He’s the Raiders’ all-time leading scorer. He has a huge leg and it has allowed Oakland to attempt some long field goals with him through the years. We’ll see if Tavecchio can replace that.
Janikowski must spend eight weeks on injured reserve, and perhaps at that point if he’s healthy the Raiders will activate him. Starting this season, teams are allowed to activate two players off injured reserve during the season.
Until then, the Raiders will be without a player who has been a mainstay for them all this century.
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