The Jacksonville Jaguars are so decimated at the kicker position that they’re resorting to a former soccer player who’s never attempted a field goal in a meaningful football game — ever.
Jon Brown, who grew up dreaming of playing in the World Cup and went to college to play soccer, will be the Jaguars‘ starting kicker on Sunday against the Detroit Lions. Brown last played in the NFL in 2018, but he only appeared in the preseason.
The Jaguars have already gone through four kickers this season
Injuries affect every NFL team, but Jacksonville’s injury luck at kicker has been unfathomable this year. Through five games, the Jaguars have already gone through four different kickers. Brown will make it five in five weeks, which is an NFL record.
Josh Lambo, who entered the season as the starter, injured his hip in Week 2 and landed on injured reserve. Rookie Brandon Wright replaced him the next game, but he hurt his groin and was waived a few days later.
Then came Steven Hauschka, who was signed off the street but couldn’t play in Week 4 due to leg soreness. Aldrick Rosas, the former New York Giant, filled in and inevitably injured his hip and groin during the game.
Hauschka got the start in Week 5, but he went 0-2 on his attempts against the Houston Texans and was cut the next day.
Next up — Jon Brown.
The Jaguars’ newest kicker was a soccer player in college
The Jaguars were seemingly out of options after running through four kickers in the span of four weeks, so they turned to a soccer player to fix their special teams woes.
Jon Brown, who had dreams of becoming a professional soccer player growing up, didn’t start kicking footballs until he was in college. Brown went to the University of Kentucky to play soccer, but he later transferred to the University of Louisville to kick for the football team on a whim.
Brown played wide receiver in high school, so it wasn’t his first experience on the gridiron. He served as Louisville’s kickoff specialist in college, but he never attempted a field goal.
The Cincinnati Bengals gave Brown a chance as a rookie in 2016. He appeared in a few preseason games from 2016-2018, but he still never got the chance to kick in a meaningful football game. That changes Sunday.
Jon Brown has never attempted a field goal in a football game that counted
The last time we saw Brown was in 2018 with the Bengals. He played in a few preseason games and even knocked in a 55-yarder against the Dallas Cowboys, but Sunday will bring his first-ever field goal attempt in a regular-season game.
Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone didn’t sound too confident in the inexperienced kicker ahead of his first NFL start.
“We worked him out, he looked good, and [I] guess we’ll just have to see when he goes out there on Sunday,” Marrone said. “But there’s a difference. I think that the one thing about that position that I’ve kind of learned through my experience is you can go out there and look good in practice but I think it’s a whole different ballgame when you go out there on a Sunday and then the pressure becomes involved.”
Hey, he can’t do any worse than the guys who came before him, right?