Washington releases kicker Dustin Hopkins

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The Washington Football Team released longtime kicker Dustin Hopkins on Wednesday. To replace Hopkins, Washington promoted Chris Blewitt from the practice squad. Washington had signed Blewitt to the practice squad on Tuesday for the second time this season.

Hopkins, 31, signed with Washington all the way back in 2015. Hopkins has made 84% of his career field goals, connecting on 163 of 194 field-goal attempts. Hopkins has made 179 of 190 career point-after attempts but did miss two in one game this season.

If you look at some of the top scoring kickers in the NFL in 2021, Hopkins’ numbers don’t look bad in comparison. Hopkins has missed just two field-goal attempts this season, but, like anything, it requires context.

In Sunday’s loss to the Chiefs, Hopkins made two of his three attempts. However, when Washington still led 13-10 in the third quarter, Hopkins missed from 42 yards out and Washington would not score again.

While Washington’s issues on either side of the ball aren’t the fault of Hopkins, some of his misses came at the most inopportune time.

In Washington’s Week 2 win over the Giants, Hopkins missed the game-winning field goal, however, a New York defender was offside, giving Hopkins another chance — and he won the game.

Cutting Hopkins isn’t going to magically fix Washington’s myriad of issues. There are bigger problems on both sides of the ball. But when head coach Ron Rivera went for it on fourth down in a Week 5 loss to the Saints in a close game instead of kicking a field goal within Hopkins’ range, it showed his lack of faith in the kicker.

Blewitt left Pitt as the school’s all-time kick scoring leader after the 2016 season. He has spent some time with the Bears and tried out for other teams. He has yet to kick in an NFL game. He is a native of Alexandria, Virginia.

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