Cody Parkey is doing a fine job as the Miami Dolphins’ kicker, but in the event that he’s unable to play, the team’s backup plan is defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh.
Dolphins special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi confirmed as much when he spoke to the media Thursday.
“I know you look at him size-wise and say, ‘That’s your backup kicker?’” Rizzi said, via the Sun-Sentinel. “But he’s really our best option.”
Suh, 30, is a five-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle who stands 6’4, 307 pounds and is known for wrecking backfields, not kicking field goals.
Kickers are rarely asked to come in a game for more than 10 plays, so Parkey shouldn’t have much trouble staying healthy, but the idea of Suh taking over is too silly not to imagine:
What is an emergency kicker?
If Parkey happens to get injured, the Dolphins would just sign a new kicker. It happens, and it’s not hard to find a new one. In 2015, Parkey landed on the Eagles’ injury reserve due to a groin injury and was replaced for the remainder of the year by Caleb Sturgis.
But teams don’t just have two kickers just in case that scenario presents itself. There’s a limited number of spots on an NFL roster and it’d be a waste to have a backup kicker who almost definitely wouldn’t get to play.
If a kicker gets hurt in a game, the team has to finish with an “emergency kicker” for extra points, field goals and kickoffs.
Does Ndamukong Suh know how to kick?
He was a soccer player growing up and even got a chance to kick an extra point for the Lions as a rookie in 2010 when Jason Hanson suffered a knee injury. It didn’t go according to plan.
But look at that form.
Rizzi said Suh won the emergency kicker job in spring and does a couple of practice field goals each week from about 35 to 45 yards.
Would the Dolphins actually let him kick a field goal? Typically, teams are more aggressive on fourth down when there’s a backup kicker in the game, but sometimes it just makes much more sense to kick.
So why is this special?
Well it’s not every day you get to see a 307-pound defensive tackle do a job typically reserved for players who usually don’t tip the scales at more than 200 pounds. Kicking takes some grace and you don’t typically associate the big guys with that.
Almost every other time a kicker gets hurt, it’s on the punter to come in and be the kicking band-aid.
“People would initially say, ‘Why not the backup punter?’” Rizzi said. “Matt Haack was a position player in high school. It wasn’t like a soccer player that became a kicker type of guy. He was more of a quarterback-receiver. (Previous punter) Matt Darr was the same thing when he was here. He wasn’t really a good kicker.
“So, Suh has had the most experience at it.”
This scenario probably won’t present itself in Miami, and hopefully the already struggling Dolphins offense doesn’t have to deal with an injury to Parkey. But if it does, it’d be wacky to see Suh handling the job.