THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) — Mason Crosby could be home in Tennessee enjoying life as a full-time father of five and occasionally admiring his Super Bowl ring.
Instead, the leading scorer in Green Bay Packers history spent Wednesday getting a new horned helmet and working with his new holder and long snapper ahead of his possible return to the NFL this weekend with the Los Angeles Rams.
The Packers were done with Crosby after 16 seasons, but the 39-year-old kicker hopes he isn't done with the NFL.
“Feels like a good opportunity to continue to chase this dream," Crosby said Wednesday after signing on to the Rams' practice squad. “It’s every kid’s dream to play professional. I’ve been fortunate enough to play for a long time, but I don’t take it for granted. I love every opportunity I have.”
The 11th-leading scorer in NFL history could make his Rams debut Sunday at Baltimore. Crosby would be the third kicker to appear in a game for Los Angeles this season if he steps in for incumbent Lucas Havrisik, who has struggled in the past two games.
Crosby admits he could have easily wrapped up a memorable football career after Green Bay dropped him earlier this year in favor of sixth-round pick Anders Carlson.
His kids wouldn't hear of it, however.
“Every once in a while, I’d be kind of questioning why I’m continuing to pursue it,” Crosby said. “And they’re all like, ‘Just keep going, Dad. What else are you going to do right now?’ I think being a Dad is a full-time job, but it’s good to have them kind of in that mindset where my family is just like, ’Hey, go have fun. Keep chasing this thing.'”
Crosby scored 1,918 points and won a championship during his long Green Bay tenure, which began in 2007 — a year before Aaron Rodgers replaced Brett Favre. Crosby has been out of the league this season, although he kept kicking throughout his hiatus and tried out for the Giants and the Rams, among other teams.
“I had a dream career there,” Crosby said. “Just being able to be in one spot for 16 years was amazing, and I obviously owe them so much. But as I continued to think about what I was going to do and all that, I just wanted to get in a good fit, a place where there’s a little nicer weather, and I just talked to a few other guys (about) the end of their career. If you can stack a few more years, a few more games, you might as well keep chasing it.”
Crosby said he nearly signed with Los Angeles in late October when it made its first kicking change of the season from Brett Maher to Havrisik, who has missed two field goals and one extra point in the Rams' past two games, dropping to 7 for 10 on field-goal attempts. The Rams didn't ask Crosby for a second audition after Havrisik faltered, instead signing him straight to the practice squad.
Maher also struggled with the Rams, who are paying the price for their financial strategy on special teams.
The Rams parted ways in the offseason with the dependable Matt Gay, the kicker on their Super Bowl championship team. Los Angeles decided to save money by not applying the franchise tag to Gay, who moved on to a lucrative deal with Indianapolis and sent the Rams on their second multi-player search for a dependable kicker in four seasons.
Los Angeles hasn't dropped Havrisik from the active roster, but will keep its options open for Sunday, coach Sean McVay said.
“(Havrisik) is a guy that we want to continue to be able to work with,” McVay said. “But to have a veteran that has (Crosby's) experience, some of the success, some of the crunch-time moments that he's had ... those are things that we wanted to be able to explore when you have 16 spots on the practice squad.”
NOTES: TE Tyler Higbee (neck stinger), LB Michael Hoecht (knee), LB Byron Young (knee) and DB Quentin Lake (hamstring) all missed Wednesday's practice. ... WR Puka Nacua was listed as limited by his sprained shoulder, but McVay said: “But I don't know what the hell that means, because he just did everything.” ... Young, who has five sacks and 50 tackles in a productive rookie season, had knee soreness after Sunday's win over Cleveland, McVay said.
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