ASHBURN, Va. — The Washington Football Team has placed kicker Joey Slye on injured reserve because of a hamstring injury and signed Brian Johnson to fill its need at the position, the team announced Tuesday.
Johnson had been on Chicago’s practice squad but spent four weeks on the active roster with New Orleans. During that time he made all eight of his field goals but only five of eight extra points. Johnson was signed by the Bears as an undrafted free agent out of Virginia Tech, where he made 76.1% of his field goals and was perfect on 131 extra points.
Johnson will be Washington’s fourth kicker of the season. It released Dustin Hopkins on Oct. 21; the veteran kicker had missed two field goals and two extra points in the first six games. But his replacement, Chris Blewitt, had three kicks blocked in his two games — all because of a low trajectory. His signing was a big gamble because Blewitt had not kicked since 2016 while at the University of Pittsburgh.
But Slye had steadied the kicking duties. In his first two games, Slye had made all five of his field goal attempts as well as all five extra points. He made one field goal Monday night. But he had an extra-point attempt late in the first half blocked. While in pursuit of Rasheem Green, who blocked the kick and was running with the ball, Slye shot to the ground.
He injured the hamstring on his left leg, also his plant leg.
Without Slye, Washington could not kick a field goal or extra point in the second half. Punter Tress Way was the emergency kicker, but it also meant having a new holder in quarterback Kyle Allen. Washington converted a 2-point try in the second half for a 17-9 lead that turned out to be the difference in the game. It eschewed a 21-yard field goal late in the game and had a touchdown pass overturned on replay.
Washington is still awaiting news on running back J.D. McKissic, who was carted off the field late in the game. Quarterback Taylor Heinicke said McKissic was up and walking around in the locker room after the game. His agent, Doug Hendrickson, tweeted after the game that McKissic “is all good.”
Center Wes Schweitzer injured an ankle and slowly limped off the field. Schweitzer, usually a backup guard, was starting at center because of injuries to two others. His status also hasn’t been updated.