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Cardinals Sign Kicker Mike Nugent To Practice Squad

Veteran played for Cardinals in 2009, is coronavirus 'insurance policy'

Kicker Mike Nugent (12) kicks a field goal against the Rams in 2009.
Kicker Mike Nugent (12) kicks a field goal against the Rams in 2009.

The Cardinals added veteran kicker Mike Nugent to the practice squad Friday, bringing him back to the team after his first stint more than a decade ago.

He provides available depth if incumbent Zane Gonzalez were to catch the coronavirus.

In 2009, Nugent kicked in two games for the Cardinals when Neil Rackers was hurt, converting both field-goal attempts and all eight extra-point attempts.

In his career, the 38-year old has kicked 258 field goals at an 81 percent conversion rate, and 378 extra points in 168 games. Last season, he kicked in four games with the Patriots, making 5-of-8 field goals and 15-of-16 extra points.

Gonzalez missed two of three field goals in the season opener, but the one make was 56 yards -- his career-long -- and coach Kliff Kingsbury said this week the Cards remain "very comfortable" with Gonzalez. Signing Nugent, Kingsbury said Friday, was all about COVID preparation.

"That'd been in the works for the last month or so," Kingsbury said. "I think more than half the teams had done that, having a specialist on call and is ready to go in case Zane caught COVID. We'd have a guy readily available to be able to kick extra points and field goals. Nugent has done a great job in this league and we were lucky to add him as an insurance policy."

The Cardinals now have 14 players on the practice squad. They can have up to 16.