The Buffalo Bills have placed rookie kicker Dustin Hopkins on Injured Reserve, bringing his 2013 season to an end.
Hopkins, a sixth-round draft pick out of Florida State, beat out veteran Rian Lindell for the Bills' kicking job this summer, but never appeared in regular season action after injuring his groin just prior to the start of the new year. The Bills signed Dan Carpenter as a street free agent to keep Hopkins' spot warm, and Carpenter has been outstanding in his place, connecting on 11-of-12 field goal tries - including 2-of-2 from 50 or more yards out, and hitting on 11 straight attempts - and improving on kickoffs over the course of the season.
The Bills had been hoping to get Hopkins back on the practice field this week, but with Thaddeus Lewis being called up to the active roster to start at quarterback, the Bills freed up his roster spot instead by ending Hopkins' rookie season. Depending on how well Carpenter plays for the remainder of the year, the Bills could have quite the kicking battle on their hands next summer.
Marrone on Hopkins: #Bills felt good about his progress (groin) last week until attempted kickoffs. "We were way behind in that movement"— Buffalo Bills (@buffalobills) October 7, 2013