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Cardinals sign 15-year vet kicker Mike Nugent to practice squad

Kicker Mike Nugent #2 of the New England Patriots kicks a field goal in the first quarter of the game against the Cleveland Browns at Gillette Stadium on October 27, 2019 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images)

Fifteen-year NFL veteran kicker Mike Nugent signed with the Arizona Cardinals practice squad Friday, giving the team insurance in case starter Zane Gonzalez were to get placed on the COVID/reserve list, according to coach Kliff Kingsbury.

Nugent, 38, has bounced around the NFL the past few years, playing for Chicago, Dallas, Oakland and New England since 2017.

A second-round pick by the New York Jets in 2005, Nugent also played for the Jets (2005-08), Cardinals (2009), Buccaneers (2009) and Bengals (2010-16). He appeared in two games for Arizona in 2009 and made his only field goal attempt.

Last season with the Patriots, Nugent went 5-of-8 on field goals and hit 15 of his 16 extra point attempts.

The Cardinals add Nugent to this year’s expanded practice squad in case of illness or injury to Gonzalez.

In Arizona’s Week 1 win against the San Francisco 49ers, Gonzalez hit a career-long 56-yarder at the end of the first half but missed attempts from 49 and 52 yards out.

“He’s been great in camp,” head coach Kliff Kingsbury said of Gonzalez. “Those were tough field goals. It was all 50-plus I think, and he hit the 56-yarder, which really gave us momentum going into halftime, gave us a chance to win that game.

“So, we feel very comfortable with Zane and where he’s at. Obviously, you like to make those, but those are long kicks, and we’ve got to do a good job offensively of not making him kick three 50-yard field goals.”


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