Ravens Sign Veteran Kicker Graham

It has not been determined whether Shayne Graham or Billy Cundiff will start Saturday.

Posted by Garrett Downing on Wednesday, December 21st, 2011 at 11:28 am | Categories: Garrett Downing

The Ravens signed veteran kicker Shayne Graham on Wednesday, as Pro Bowl kicker Billy Cundiff has struggled through a left calf injury the last two weeks.

To make room for Graham on the active roster, the Ravens put rookie linebacker Chavis Williams on injured reserve with an injury to his right foot.
Cundiff has not practiced since Dec. 7, and the injury has limited him in the Ravens’ last two games. He missed a 36-yard field goal Sunday against the Chargers, and admitted after the game that the injury may have been a factor.

“It’s certainly not 100 percent, so I’m just trying to figure out what’s the best thing to do and how to make sure I’m capable of playing at a high level,” Cundiff said.

Head Coach John Harbaugh alluded to the possibility of bringing in another kicker when he was asked about Cundiff’s struggles earlier this week.

“We’ve got to look at that this week, because [Cundiff] hasn’t been able to practice the last couple of weeks, and that maybe affected him a little bit,” Harbaugh said Monday.

Graham had a tryout with the Ravens two weeks ago, and does have past experience with the organization.

He competed with Cundiff for the starting job during training camp in 2010, but Cundiff won the job and ended up having a Pro Bowl season.

“The positive thing about bringing in Shayne is that we know him and he knows us,” Special Teams Coordinator Jerry Rosburg said. “We know we’re bringing in a guy that is not only a quality NFL kicker, but has been in the NFL environment and understands playoff-caliber football.”

Graham signed with the New England Patriots midway through last year and was successful on all 12 of his field-goal attempts.

The 11-year veteran played in two games for the Miami Dolphins this year – in Weeks 11 and 12 – when starter Dan Carpenter went down. Graham didn’t have any attempts in the first game and hit four of five in the second game, including a long of 28 yards. He missed from 47 yards.

Graham practiced with the team Wednesday, and Rosburg said they have not yet determined if he or Cundiff will be the starting kicker this weekend.

“All I can control is what I’m asked to do,” Graham said. “So if I’m asked to play then I go out and play and play my best to help these guys win. If it’s for one week, it’s for one week. If it’s for two, then it’s for two, if it takes more or less, that’s really out of my hands. All I can do is line up and kick when they ask me to.”

Cundiff could still return this season if he is able to get healthy, as the Ravens opted not to put him on injured reserve. Cundiff has missed nine field goals this season, and all but two of those misses have come on attempts of 50 yards or more.

“I have a lot of confidence in Billy and I have a lot of confidence in our trainers, so we’ll see what happens down the road,” Rosburg said.

Williams started the year on the practice squad, but was promoted to the active roster after the Cardinals game. He has played in five games this season and has recorded two special teams tackles. He has been inactive the last two weeks, and suffered the foot injury in practice on Tuesday.

Tags: , ,