The plan was to have two but the news of Shaun Suisham’s setback leaves Chris Boswell as the only kicker on the Pittsburgh Steelers’ roster. And their recent history suggests he’ll remain as the only one.
First, the obvious. In a move corresponding with Suisham’s release, the team opted against signing a kicker. Instead, they nabbed running back Brandon Johnson, a UDFA and part of their rookie minicamp group. If the Steelers were really set on adding another leg, it’s likely they would have made the move today, instead of waiting until later.
In 2014 and 2015, prior to Suisham’s injury, the Steelers opted against signing another kicker, allowing them to add depth elsewhere. That may be in part because Suisham was clearly going to win the job, but it also signaled a shift in philosophy from the front office.
Suisham had strong 2012 and 2013 campaigns, an accuracy rate of over 90%, but the Steelers had a second kicker in each of those camps. Daniel Hrapmann was around for both seasons as the #2, quickly discarded by camp’s end.
With the Steelers having a lighter schedule this preseason, just four games and 14 practices, there is a lesser worry on Boswell having too much wear and tear heading into the season. Soaking up those reps might even be good for him, still a young player going through his first camp with the team.
The bottom line is that the team is clearly comfortable with Boswell and the notion of carrying just one kicker in the preseason. You can bet they’ll demand him to stay out of any kickoff scrums to avoid the same unfortunate fate Suisham met. But it seems logical he’ll be the only kicker in camp.
If the team does decide to bring someone on, or God forbid, has to bring someone in, they could look to Ty Long. Long was signed to a futures deal in the winter and released after rookie minicamp.