Alex Kessman, New York Jets, Pittsburgh, Stats, Contract, Practice Squad
Alex Kessman, New York Jets, Pittsburgh Panthers, Getty Images

New York Jets still addressing their post-Jason Myers kicking situation

The New York Jets continued to tinker with their kicking situation on Tuesday, adding rookie Alex Kessman to their practice squad. In a corresponding move, linebacker Corey Thompson was released.

The addition of Kessman hints that the Jets (2-8) are ready to reopen their kicking competition after Matt Ammendola‘s recent struggles.

Ammendola began the season converting six of his first seven field goal attempts and gained acclaim for stepping in for injured punter Braden Mann during the Week 1 visit to Carolina. He has since hit only five of his last nine triple attempts, including a 1-for-3 performance in the team’s one-score loss to Miami in Week 11.

Overall, Ammendola is 11-for-16 on his field goals (68.8%) this season, including an 0-for-3 mark from at least 50 yards out and a 2-for-4 mark from 40-49 yards. He is 13-for-14 on extra points (92.9%).

Kessman arrives after spending time with the Los Angeles Chargers this summer. He entered the league as an undrafted free agent out of Pittsburgh where he converted 72.6% of his field goals and 97.1% of his extra points over four seasons.

Kessman was a finalist for the Lou Groza Award (bestowed to the nation’s top placekicker) during his final season at Pitt, where he led the nation with 23 successful field goal attempts. Those came on 29 attempts, giving him a success rate of only 79.3%, but he went 4-for-5 from at least 50 yards away.

Speaking on Monday, special teams coordinator Brant Boyer had a cryptic reply when queried about his confidence in Ammendola.

“I’m sure we’ll talk about that at some point later this afternoon or tomorrow,” Boyer said of a potential Ammendola replacement, per notes from the team.

“We talk about it all the time about one bad play ruining your whole day and you can’t allow that to happen. If you have a mistake, no matter what position you are playing, you have to put that mistake behind you and you have to move on. That’s something that he needs to improve on, and he knows that.”

New York has had major trouble filling the void that the Seattle-bound Pro Bowler Jason Myers left behind after the 2018 season. Ammendola is the fifth different kicker to try field goals and extra points for the Jets in the regular season since Myers’ departure.

Ammendola and the Jets return to action on Sunday afternoon on the road against the Houston Texans (1 p.m. ET, CBS).

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

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Geoff Magliocchetti is a veteran football writer with years of credentialed experience with the Jets and Giants. Email: geoffmags90@gmail.com

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