Former Chiefs kicker Sam Ficken finds home with Rams

SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 17: Kicker Greg Zuerlein
SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 17: Kicker Greg Zuerlein /

The Los Angeles Rams are having to replace their kicker late in the season but they’ve found a nice replacement in former Chiefs player Sam Ficken.

Based on the results of this year’s preseason, if you would have told Chiefs Kingdom that incumbent starting kicker Cairo Santos would be placed on injured reserve, the natural guess would have been that Sam Ficken would have taken over his duties in Kansas City.

Ficken was, after all, the young import brought in to help the Chiefs when Santos went down during the team’s preseason for several weeks with a groin injury. Santos ended up returning for the fourth and final game in August and even played through Week 3 of the regular season. However, he ended up going down again with a reaggravated injury and would end up missing the next several weeks.

Yet after seeing Ficken have decent success in the preseason, general manager Brett Veach decided to go down a different road and plucked Harrison Butker from the practice squad of the Carolina Panthers. The seventh round pick from this year’s draft was praised by Chiefs special teams coach Dave Toub as his favorite prospect in this year’s rookie crop and the Chiefs took a chance. Now they’re thrilled to have made the move.

Santos eventually found his way back to health and is the kicker for the Chicago Bears. Now a third kicker who has played for the Chiefs has a starting spot with the news that the Rams have signed Ficken to solve their own woes after incumbent Greg Zuerlein went on injured reserve.

Zuerlein is having an incredible season so far with a 95 percent field goal conversion rate, including 6 of 7 from 50 yards or beyond. It is the single best year by far of his six-year career, so there’s no telling if Ficken has a job beyond this trial run for the Rams down the stretch. Then again it’s that much more game tape for him to use for another job trial next offseason.