Dan Carpenter has been slowed by a groin injury and it is serious. How serious?
Carpenter is done kicking for the season. The club put him on injured reserve today, which means he will not kick Sunday against the Buffalo Bills or in the season-finale against New England and so today Miami signed free agent kicker Nate Kaeding.
Kaeding is experienced and also has playoff experience gained from his nine years with the San Diego Chargers. This year he was with San Diego three games and was seven-of-seven on FG attempts and six-of-six on point after attempts.
Kaeding, 30, was a Pro Bowl selection in 2006 and 2009 and is statistically the most accurate kicker in NFL history. He has connected on 87 percent of his kicks.
The irony here is Kaeding was placed on injured reserve by the Chargers earlier this season for, of course, having a groin injury. Once he got healthy, the club was forced to release him off the injured reserve list.
Kaeding also spent all of the 2011 season on injured reserve when he tore knee ligaments while trying to make a tackle on the opening kickoff of the regular season.
This ending is typical of the season Carpenter had. He was excellent kicking from 39 yards and in, connecting on all 12 of his attempts. But beyond that range he connected on only 10 of 15 kicks and missed kicks against the Jets and Cardinals that might have delivered victories in games the Dolphins eventually lost.
Let me say this now: The Dolphins did not bring in any competition for Carpenter the last couple of training camps. I would be surprised if that is the case next year.
Carpenter has only one more year on his contract (2013) and he is no bargain at $2.67 million so look for the Dolphins to search for a cheaper option.