For the second consecutive year, veteran kicker David Akers will have to battle to keep his job as the season enters the stretch run.
Coach Jim Schwartz gave Akers a vote of confidence after a missed 31-yard field goal in Thursday's victory over the Packers, but the Detroit Lions are planning to work out kickers next week, per the Detroit Free Press.
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Akers has also missed from 45 and 47 yards and had a pair of kicks blocked.
Although previous field-goal troubles resulted from a botched hold, shaky protection up front and an ill-advised red-zone fake against the Steelers, missing a chip shot is squarely on Akers' shoulders.
Arguably the NFL's best kicker from 2008 to 2011, Akers simply hasn't been reliable since undergoing double hernia surgery prior to the 2012 season.
Akers' recent struggles call to mind former San Diego Chargers kicker Nate Kaeding, who was forced to retire at age 31 last offseason due to a nagging groin injury. Kaeding had been one of the most accurate kickers in NFL history.
Schwartz has "a lot of confidence" that Akers will bounce back, but the kicker tryout is telling. Perhaps we will see Havard "Kickalicious" Rugland back in a Lions uniform after all.
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