Los Angeles Chargers Sign Dustin Hopkins, Waive Tristan Vizcaino

Dustin Hopkins
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The Los Angeles Chargers have made a switch at kicker. They have signed Dustin Hopkins, who had been released by the Washington Football Team almost a week ago. At the same time, they waived Tristan Vizcaino, who had been the Chargers kicker for the first six games of the season.

Los Angeles Chargers Waive Tristan Vizcaino, Sign Dustin Hopkins

The news of the Chargers swapping kickers is not that surprising. Tristan Vizcaino had been struggling. While his seven-for-ten field goal ratio was not bad, his five missed extra points in just six games was abysmal. A change had to be made, and there were even rumors of the Chargers trading for Younghoe Koo (who they ironically had a few years ago). However, the Chargers picked up Hopkins instead.

Hopkins had actually been generally reliable for Washington this season, going 12-for-14 on field goals and only two missed extra points. That frankly leaves it a bit of a mystery as to why he was released as by current kicker standards, that is quite adequate. Regardless, it makes for an upgrade over Vizcaino by all statistical standards.

Hopkins has been in the league since 2013, but only a starter since 2015. Initially, he was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the sixth round and won the starting job, but an early injury caused him to miss the whole season before he ever played. He lost the competition the following year and spent most of the season a free agent before ending up on the New Orleans Saints practice squad. He was in their kicking competition in 2015 but lost that one as well. Hopkins was finally signed by Washington in 2015 starting in Week 2 after they had gotten rid of Kai Forbath.

Up until the past week, Hopkins had been the starting kicker for Washington since 2015, only missing games once in 2017 when he only played eight games due to injury. During that time, he went 163-for-194 on field goals with an 84% field goal percentage. His best season came in 2018 when went 26-for-29 and missed just one extra point.

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