After an injury-filled second NFL season in 2021, kicker Rodrigo Blankenship is competing for his job with the Indianapolis Colts this offseason.
But Colts head coach Frank Reich made it clear when speaking to the media during the second week of offseason workouts on June 1 that that’s not unusual. He also seemed to implied the kicker job is Blankenship’s to lose.
“Rod [Rodrigo Blankenship] was our kicker last year, so in my mind, it’s Rod’s to … but it’s an open competition. We’re going in like at every position, really,” Reich said. “There are guys who are on the depth chart – I would say Rod would be on the depth chart as the ‘No. 1 kicker’ right now, but is it a competition? Yes. Is it a competition at every position? Yes.
“We all understand what that means and what it doesn’t mean, but it will be a competition. We certainly respect what Rod has done since he’s been here.”
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Rodrigo Blankship’s Success as Rookie, Injury-Plagued 2021 Season
Arriving in Indianapolis as an undrafted rookie in April 2020, Blankenship made the roster out of training camp. That wasn’t all that different to how he became a star at Georgia. In 2015, he walked on with the Bulldogs and became the program’s starting kicker in 2016.
During his final college season in 2019, Blankenship won the Lou Groza award, which is awarded to the most outstanding place-kicker in college football.
As a rookie with the Colts, Blankenship made 86.5% of his field-goal attempts, which ranked him 15th in the NFL during 2020. From inside 40 yards, he went 22 for 23. Blankenship also made 43 of 45 extra-point tries.
But in his second season, Blankenship suffered a hip injury that kept him from kicking for the Colts after Week 5. In five games, he made 11 of 14 field-goal attempts and 7 out of 8 extra points.