Sunday’s 23-16 victory over the Seattle Seahawks certainly has Los Angeles Rams fans feeling confident and comfortable with their team. But even in victory there are often red flags, and while fans will be enjoying the Rams’ overall performance, they’re likely chattering their teeth about the situation at the kicker position.
Yes, it was another rough day at the office for Rams kickers. In his second game with the team, veteran Kai Forbath once again struggled. He made his only field goal attempt, but it was just a 23-yarder, and he almost shanked it. And on top of that, he missed an extra-point attempt.
This comes after his Rams debut in Week 8, when Forbath made both of his extra points, but went just 1-for-2 on field goals, hitting from 23 yards and missing from 48.
He doesn’t look like a quality NFL kicker, and on top of that he’s now dealing with an ankle injury. It’s unclear how severe the injury is.
Injury Update: Kai Forbath (ankle) is questionable to return— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) November 15, 2020
Sean McVay does not have immediate injury updates on Andrew Whitworth, Taylor Rapp or Kai Forbath.— Jourdan Rodrigue (@JourdanRodrigue) November 16, 2020
So where do the Rams go from here? Forbath was signed to replace rookie seventh-round pick Sam Sloman, who was waived after Week 7.
Sloman was far from great, as he went just 18-for-21 on extra points, and 8-for-11 on field goals, with a long of just 42 yards, and misses from 22, 29, and 53 yards.
It’s easy to understand why the Rams parted ways with Sloman. A team with Super Bowl aspirations can’t have kickers missing field goals that start with the number “2.” Still, by not waiting an extra week they put themselves in a position where they only had a few days to find a replacement. Had they waited until after Week 8, they would’ve had the bye week to actually be thorough and try out some kickers.
Instead, they rushed into signing Forbath without seeming to put much thought or research into it, and he’s struggled every bit as much as Sloman did.
What next? Do they hope that Forbath figures it out? Do they return to Sloman and hope the second run is better? Do they try out the rookie kickers they had in the offseason — Lirim Hajrullahu and Austin MacGinnis — and hope their initial evaluation that Sloman was the best option is incorrect?
Or do they take the angle they did with Forbath, and hit the free agent market, only this time (hopefully) with a little bit of a more thoughtful and serious approach?
Only time will tell. But the Rams have a serious kicker problem, and they need to figure it out in a hurry.