Chargers sign kicker Coons, place Novak on IR
COSTA MESA, Calif. – Los Angeles Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn said he would have a tough decision to make regarding his kicking position by Saturday.
Well, Lynn stayed true to his word, as the Chargers signed Travis Coons from the practice squad to the active roster, the team announced Saturday.
To make room for Coons, the Chargers placed kicker Nick Novak on injured reserve with a back issue.
A product of the University of Washington, Coons last played in the NFL for the team he will face on Sunday, the Cleveland Browns.
Coons spent his first NFL season with the Browns in 2015. He made 28 of 32 field goals (87.5 percent) with a long of 47 yards and 22 of 24 extra points (92 percent). Coons set an NFL record by making 18 straight field goals to start his professional career. Coons also had 27 touchbacks on 70 kickoffs.
The Browns released Coons, 25, at the end of training camp in ’16 after he lost the kicking job to Patrick Murray. Coons went to camp with the Los Angeles Rams this year, but was released in September as the Rams stayed with steady veteran Greg Zuerlein.
Coons grew up 45 minutes northeast of Costa Mesa in Rancho Cucamonga and attended Alta Loma High School, the same high school of former Chargers safety Eric Weddle. Coons said he had been training there before the Chargers brought him in this week for a tryout.
“This is my first time actually meeting Nick,” Coons said. “He actually helped me out a little bit on certain things. He’s a good dude, helped me out. If I see something, I’ll tell him. If he sees something, he tells me. It’s all good.”
Novak suffered a back injury in warm-ups before the Chargers’ Thanksgiving Day win over the Dallas Cowboys. He missed a 35-yard field goal and an extra point during the game, and ended up giving way to punter Drew Kaser.
Lynn said that Novak kicked well on Thursday, but still showed signs of soreness. Lynn had concerns about having Novak active on game day and going through the same situation as last week if the veteran kicker was not fully healthy.
Novak made 9 of 13 field goals for the Chargers in seven games this season, including a long of 50 yards.
He replaced Younghoe Koo in Week 5. The undrafted rookie out of Georgia Southern made 3 of 6 field goals, including missing a 44-yard field goal that would have won the game against the Miami Dolphins in Week 2.