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Are Titans pondering a change at kicker?

The Titans announced an intriguing transaction on Tuesday

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: JAN 01 Vrbo Citrus Bowl - Iowa v Kentucky Photo by Joe Petro/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Tennessee Titans general manager Jon Robinson made an unexpected transaction on Tuesday afternoon. The Titans designated rookie kicker Caleb Shudak to return to practice off PUP, the team confirmed via social media. The move triggers Shudak’s 21-day return-to-play practice window. May the Titans be pondering making a late-season change at the kicker position?

An undrafted free agent kicker out of Iowa, Shudak originally signed with the Titans in early May. Shudak was initially signed to compete alongside starter Randy Bullock throughout training camp, but that wish unfortunately never came to fruition. Shudak suffered an injury before training camp and was ultimately placed on PUP. The Titans kept him around after he impressed through organized team activities (OTAs). Shudak may now receive the opportunity he was intended to receive during July and August.

Shudak was excellent for the Hawkeyes in 2021, converting 24-of-28 field goal attempts. His 2021 field goal percentage of 85.7 percent ranks fourth-best in Iowa’s single season record books. Shudak’s 108 points scored in 2021 ranks as fifth-best single season scoring total in school history.

The Titans made additional moves at kicker on Tuesday. Veteran Josh Lambo was released after a less-than-desirable one-game showing. It indicates Bullock, who missed Week 11, is healthy again.

Bullock is 11-of-13 this season with a kicking percentage of 84.6%. It currently represents a slight improvement from last season (83.9%). Bullock is however 5-of-7 from 40-49 range and hasn’t attempted a single field goal from 50-plus yards. Bullock missed a 47-yard game-winning attempt in Week 1. The Titans are aware of Bullock’s distance limitations, which hampers their ability to attempt lengthier field goals. On the other hand, Shudak flashed long-distance ability by routinely making 50-yard field goals during the summer.

Bullock did not practice on Tuesday. Lambo was released nonetheless. Activating Shudak’s 21-day practice window indicates the Titans will at least give him a lengthy look. Bullock may be watching over his shoulder.