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All Signs Pointing Towards Novak on Sunday
Nick Novak was so excited to get the call from the Chargers on Friday that he didn’t see the pole directly behind his car.
“I was on the practice field and I missed a few phone calls, and then I found out what was going on and it didn’t take long for me to get ready to head to the facility,” Novak said Friday night in Kansas City. “In the process I didn’t see the pole behind me as I backed up, and I’ve got a nice bump in my bumper. But it was worth it. I raced over to my house and got my helmet and shoulder pads ready. Less than 30 minutes later I was at the facility and ready to go.”
The need to bring Novak in arose when kicker Nate Kaeding injured his groin during Friday afternoon’s practice at Chargers Park. A few minutes later, Special Teams coach Rich Bisaccia was on the phone with Novak, telling the veteran kicker to get ready to possibly be ready for Sunday’s game vs. the Chiefs.
“Coach told me that I might be needed,” Novak said. “He told me that I may get an opportunity to kick on Sunday because he wasn’t sure if Nate would be able to kick or not. He told me to travel with the team, and that I very well could be the guy on Sunday.”
Novak, who was the Chargers kicker for the vast majority of the 2011 season after Kaeding injured himself on the opening kickoff, has kept himself in shape over the past few weeks and feels confident should he be needed vs. the Chiefs.
“The last four weeks I’ve been training at San Diego State University,” he said. “I’ve been kicking a lot and treating the week like a regular NFL work week. I get most of my work in on Thursdays. Sundays I usually approach it as my game days. I haven’t been watching too many games as I’ve been busy kicking. Mondays are usually the day as a kicker you get a call from a team to come in and work out, so it was unusual to get the call on a Friday, but I’m here now and ready to go. I’ve learned that in the NFL you have to be ready for anything, so here I am.”
A San Diego resident, Novak doesn’t take the task of being the Chargers kicker lightly. He appreciates the opportunity to suit up for the team and is determined to do his best.
“It’s a privilege to wear the bolt and be a Charger,” he said. “Obviously it’s special anytime I get to run out and play in the NFL, but to play for the Chargers and the city I grew up in, it means a lot to me. I’ll do the best that I can and I’m confident that if needed I’ll be able to help this team win.”