Chargers sign kicker Travis Coons to active roster, place Nick Novak on injured reserve
By Jack Wang
When it comes to kickers, the Chargers hope the third time’s the charm.
On Saturday, they signed Travis Coons to their active roster, the second in-season change at placekicker for the team this season. The Chargers had signed Coons to their practice squad earlier this week as an insurance policy for veteran Nick Novak, who was forced out of a Thanksgiving win in Dallas with a back injury.
Coons will make his season debut on Sunday (1:05 p.m., CBS) against the winless Browns, whom he kicked for in 2015.
“Travis looked good,” Coach Anthony Lynn said Friday. “His rhythm is good. He kicked well, kicked off well.”
Novak practiced this week, but was placed on injured reserve after showing signs of lingering soreness. He finishes the season having converted just nine of his 13 field goal attempts, his worst percentage since 2008.
The 36-year-old was 86.3 percent on field goals for the Chargers from 2011-14, a figure that ranked him as the second-most accurate kicker in franchise history. After rookie Younghoe Koo struggled through the first four games — missing a potential game-winner against the Dolphins in Week 2 — the team decided to take another look at their old veteran.
Novak was not nearly as successful this time around. His 32-yard field goal pushed the Chargers (5-6) to a 17-16 win in Oakland in mid-October, but he also made just one of his four tries from 40 yards or longer.
Hampered last Thursday by pain in his hip and lower back, he missed a 35-yard attempt in the first quarter against the Cowboys, his first miscue from inside 40 yards since 2014. He made a 22-yarder late in the second quarter, but the Chargers did not attempt another field goal — turning to punter Drew Kaser on kickoffs and extra points, with mixed results.