The NY Jets might have a new kicker on Sunday with Sam Ficken dealing with a groin injury.
The NY Jets have dealt with their fair share of injury issues this season. From the likes of Sam Darnold to promising young rookies such as Mekhi Becton and Denzel Mims, they’ve run into plenty of injury misfortune.
But this week they might be playing without one of their most consistent performers of the season — kicker Sam Ficken.
Ficken originally popped up on the injury report with a groin issue on Wednesday and was subsequently held out of practice on both Thursday and Friday.
As such, his status for this Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills is very much in doubt.
After a shaky season in 2019, Ficken has bounced back with a very efficient 2020 campaign. The former Los Angeles Rams kicker has connected on 9-of-10 field goals with his first miss coming last week on a 54-yard attempt.
He has also made all six of his extra-point attempts serving as a consistently good performer on a consistently bad team. But his groin injury might force him to the sideline this week.
The NY Jets have a backup plan if Sam Ficken can’t play on Sunday.
Fortunately, the Jets recently signed an emergency option, former CFL and XFL kicker/punter Sergio Castillo, to their practice squad last week. Castillo was signed to be a backup plan in case either Ficken or rookie punter Braden Mann got injured.
As fate would have it, a week after Castillo was signed, Ficken hit the injury report.
The 29-year-old originally entered the league as an undrafted free agent out of West Texas A&M back in 2014. After a brief stint with the Atlanta Falcons in the summer of 2014, Castillo would bounce around in the CFL, XFL, and even the short-lived AAF for the next few years.
All the while, he worked as a hybrid kicker/punter for his team. Castillo’s best season came in 2019 when he was named a CFL All-Star after connecting on 41-of-45 field goals. The Texas native pulled triple-duty serving as the team’s kicker, punter, and kickoff specialist.
There’s still a chance that Ficken could play, but Castillo is waiting on the practice squad as a backup option if need be. And seeing as though the incumbent Ficken has missed the last two practices with that groin injury, it seems very likely that he misses this week.
Sergio Castillo could be in-line to make his NFL debut this Sunday if duty calls.