Dan Carpenter to handle Bills’ kicking duties in Week 1
Earlier in training camp, Hopkins rightfully earned the kicking job when he beat out veteran Rian Lindell for a spot on the Bills’ 53-man roster. But Hopkins’ hit a bump in the road to his NFL regular season debut after the former Florida State standout suffered a strained right groin in Monday’s practice. With the chances of Hopkins’ Week 1 action quickly fading, the Bills signed veteran Dan Carpenter the very next day to fill in at the spot.
"I thought it was a high-level (strain) and he’d be out some time, but it’s not so I think it’s going to be a condition thing," Marrone said of Hopkins. "I think if he was a position player I’d be able to tell you a couple days, but I think because he uses that leg I think it’s just a matter of when he gets out there and starts swinging it and see how he feels."
Carpenter was scheduled for a tryout with the Cleveland Browns when the Bills signed him earlier this week.
The Bills will count as Carpenter’s fourth team since the end of last season. After spending five seasons with the Miami Dolphins, who signed him as an undrafted free agent out of Montana in 2008, Carpenter bounced around the league bounced around the league in recent weeks. Since his release by the Dolphins in mid-August, Carpenter also spent time with the Arizona Cardinals as well as New York Jets this season. However, each time Carpenter stay lasted only a few days as he was subsequently released in the roster cuts. for now, Carpenter seems to have a job for at least another week, leading up to the Sunday’s game against the Patriots at the Ralph Wilson Stadium.
The only time the Bills have beat the Patriots in their last 19 meetings, a last-second Lindell field goal won them the contest.
The former Pro Bowl kicker Carpenter has converted 127 of 155 field-goal attempts (81.9 percent), but only 50 percent from 50 yards or longer over his five-year NFL career. Carpenter’s 127 field goals are also tied for the fifth-most in the NFL since 2008.
However, Carpenter could be looking for his fifth NFL team at some point this season, considering the Bills drafted Hopkins in the sixth-round this April, and drafted players typically get more chances than others.