Saints' Kickers and Groin Injuries

Bleacher ReportAnalyst IOctober 6, 2008

Once again, a New Orleans Saints' kicker has fallen victim to a dreaded groin injury. Martin Gramatica missed a potential game-winning field goal against Denver two weeks ago and again missed a potential game-winning field goal Monday night against Minnesota.

We must go back to the John Carney days. In 2006, John Carney was the Saints' kicker. He was accurate all right, but being over 40-years old and all, he didn't have much power in his leg, so the Saints signed Dave Rayner to kick the longer field goals and to help with kickoff duties.

That didn't work out so the Saints acquired Olindo Mare (above), who was traded to the Saints by the Miami Dolphins in favor of former Giants' kicker Jay Feely.

Mare fell to the groin injury and could barely make a 20-yard field goal. So late in the 2007 season, the Saints signed Gramatica and released Mare at the end of the season. Mare has since signed with the Seattle Seahawks.

The Saints drafted kicker Taylor Mehlhaff in the 2008 NFL Draft in the sixth round. Mehlhaff competed with Gramatica for the starting kicker position and lost to Gramatica. Gramatica stayed and Mehlhaff walked.

Gramatica hadn't missed a field goal as a Saints coming into the game against the Broncos two weeks ago, but then he missed two in that game, including the potential game-winning field goal.

It has been announced the Gramatica has suffered a groin injury.

Against the Vikings, he had a field goal blocked and returned for a touchdown. He did kick a 53-yard field goal and another field goal of a shorter distance but missed the potential game winner which was about a 47 yarder.

What should the Saints do now?