Are the LA Rams exerting a bit of pre-game trickery? Is this the NFL version of the shell game, in which the Baltimore Ravens must guess who is actually going to kick for the Rams on a sloppy football field in Week 14? After all, the LA Rams acted rather swiftly this week in signing veteran kicker Mason Crosby.
Even more surprising, the Rams elevated Crosby from the practice squad for the game against the Baltimore Ravens. In fact, all indications were that the LA Rams were leaning more and more towards starting Crosby over their young kicker, Lucas Havrisik. But today, on game day, we have learned that even after elevating Crosby from the practice squad, he will be inactive today.
So, what changed?
Does Havrisik have one more chance to secure his job?
Is this one final chance for LA Rams kicker Lucas Havrisik to secure his job? That is certainly a logical conclusion after all of the hoops that the Rams front office has jumped through this week to create an option to use veteran kicker Mason Crosby. But the LA Rams deviated from that path today, as Mason Crosby is inactive.
While I am uncertain what occurred to change the LA Rams minds at such a late hour, the outcome of today's events are undeniable. Lucas Havrisik is kicking for the Rams in lousy conditions.
It was a lot to expect veteran kicker Mason Crosby to be signed, literally off the streets, onboard with the Rams, and be ready to kick field goals through the uprights for the team in gusty winds and hard driving rain. For that matter, it's a pretty tall task to ask of Havrisik as well. But there is a method to this madness.
If Crosby did kick for the Rams in Week 14, then the Rams will get lambasted for failing to find their kicker once more. Despite the weather, if the Rams make a move to upgrade the kicker position, the next kicker had better perform well. With wind and rain today, the conditions are lousy for any kicker.
But if the Rams go with Havrisik, who many believe has one foot out of the door already, a bad day of kicking simply nails his coffin shut, and the Rams can reboot the position with Crosby in Week 15. But if Havrisik plays well? Then there is no controversy, and Lucas Havrisik will have earned the right to retain his starting kicking role for the LA Rams.
Will Havrisik play well today? Well one thing is certain. He has nothing more to lose.