The Raiders placed their all time leading scorer, kicker Sebastian Janikowski, on Injured Reserve today. They signed Giorgio Tavecchio from their practice squad on to the active roster to handle the kicking duties Sunday.
Raiders placed K Sebastian Janikowski on injured reserve, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 9, 2017
Janikowski had been dealing with a sore back during preseason.
Tavecchio is a former University of California kicker who has been in Raiders camp the past couple offseasons, but his next NFL kick will be his first. At Cal, he converted 75% of his field goal attempts and 93% of his extra point attempts (that’s kinda bad considering the college extra point is still from the 2 yard line). There is little doubt that he represents a pretty significant downgrade from Janikowski.
During the preseason this year he went 3 of 4 on field goals with a long of 43 and converted 5 of 6 extra point attempts. Kicking in the NFL is as much mental as it is physical — just ask Roberto Aguayo. It will be interesting to see how Tavecchio reacts to the pressure of a regular season NFL game in a hostile environment.
This could be important on Sunday. Janikowski has always had a big leg and he still had it in 2016 with a season long of 56 yards. If this game is close and comes down to a late kick for the Raiders, I feel a lot better seeing Tavecchio over the ball than Janikowski.