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With Kaeding Out for Good, Chargers Fortunate to Have Novak
Nate Kaeding’s comeback from a season-ending injury in 2011 was going well until he injured his groin in practice prior to Week 4’s game vs. the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chargers kept him on the active roster hoping he’d be able to regain his form, but that ended today when he was placed on the reserved/injured list.
Kaeding, who has played in only four games over the last two seasons, will be released once healthy.
“Nate’s in the middle of doing his rehabilitation,” said head coach Norv Turner. “He’s been a great player for us. We’re just in a position right now where we have to move forward with the roster, so we made the move we made.”
Luckily for the Chargers, they were able to bring in the reliable Nick Novak when Kaeding went down after Week 3. Novak was with the Bolts for the majority of 2011, and he converted 27 of 34 kicks on the season. So far this year, he has made five of six attempts, including a long of 47 yards, in three games.
“Nick has obviously been a proven kicker,” said Assistant Head Coach- Special Teams Rich Bisaccia. “He showed us that last year, and he has come in and done a tremendous job this year. He’s been great with not only his field goals but also kicking off. We have a lot of confidence that his work ethic in practice will translate to game play.”
San Diego reiterated how fortunate they were to be able to bring Novak in when Kaeding went down three weeks ago, and they are pleased to have him be their kicker for the long haul. Still, it was tough to say goodbye to Kaeding.
“It was real difficult,” said Bisaccia. “We didn’t want to lose Nate. We thought he was coming back off a serious injury a year ago and had a tremendous preseason. He made all his field goals this season to start the year. Any time you have someone playing at a high level and get himself into an injury situation it’s tough.”
Still, the decision to move on was certainly made easier by having someone of Novak’s merit on board.
“We really are fortunate to have Nick,” said Bissacia. “He’s someone who we are happy to have moving forward. He’s an excellent player. He’s our kicker and we are lucky to have him.”