The New York Giants are preparing for their Week 9 confrontation with the Las Vegas Raiders but will be missing a crucial player: their starting kicker Graham Gano.
Gano has been contending with knee issues, manifested in swelling and discomfort over the past few weeks. Following a tough game against the New York Jets, where his two missed field goals were decisive in the Giants’ loss, Gano has opted for surgery to address the problem. This decision puts Gano’s season in jeopardy, necessitating the Giants to search for a replacement kicker.
Giants Scouting for a New Kicker
In response to the void left by Gano, General Manager Joe Schoen has been proactive. Earlier in the week, the Giants signed veteran kicker Randy Bullock to the practice squad. The 33-year-old has a solid track record, including his recent season with the Tennessee Titans, where he successfully made 85% of his field goal attempts and maintained a perfect extra-point conversion rate.
Despite only attempting and making one field goal from beyond 50 yards, Bullock’s performance is respectable, given the difficulty of long-range kicks.
Young Talent Brought In to Compete
The Giants ramped up the competition for the kicking position by signing former Cleveland Browns kicker Cade York on Friday. At 22, York showcases a younger option with a powerful leg, although his consistency from medium distances has been questioned. Despite being a fourth-round pick the previous year, York was available after being released by the Browns. His opportunity with the Giants arose unexpectedly while he was on a golf course, prompting him to cut his game short to attend practice in time.
York boasts a slightly better touchback rate than Bullock and has a more impressive record on long-range field goals, making four out of seven attempts from over 50 yards.
Decision Pending for Giants’ Kicking Role
While Bullock offers a wealth of experience, York presents potential with his strength, albeit accompanied by some inconsistency. The Giants are still deliberating on who will fill the kicker’s shoes, but it appears that Gano’s absence could extend through the remainder of the 2023 season. The team’s final decision will be critical as they approach their next game without their starting kicker.