The Cleveland Browns placed veteran kicker Cody Parkey on injured reserve on Monday with an injury to his quad muscle.
The move was announced by head coach Kevin Stefanski during his afternoon media session.
Kevin Stefanski Presser - Preseason WK3 https://t.co/tJ4gdp0iwH— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) August 23, 2021
Stefanski is not sure when Parkey suffered the injury, but it was enough to knock him out of Sunday’s preseason game against the New York Giants after converting the extra point following KhaDarel Hodge’s touchdown in the first quarter.
Parkey was coming off a 2020 season where he connected on 19-of-22 field goals in 15 regular-season games and didn’t miss on three postseason field goal attempts. He was also perfect on eight extra points in the postseason after making 43-of-47 in the regular season.
Because the Browns are placing Parkey on injured reserve prior to September 1, the team cannot designate him to return during the season, according to Nate Ulrich at The Beacon Journal:
#Browns can't designate kicker Cody Parkey (quadriceps) for return because they're placing him on injured reserve today. Only players placed on IR after 4 p.m. Sept. 1 are eligible to be designated to return.— Nate Ulrich (@ByNateUlrich) August 23, 2021
Stefanski and general manager Andrew Berry now have a serious decision to make at the kicker position. Do they go into a season with legitimate Super Bowl aspirations relying on Chase McLaughlin, or do they keep looking for another kicker after the September 1 roster cutdowns?
McLaughlin was released by the New York Jets - one of five teams he has kicked for - on May 7 and the Browns were awarded him off waivers a few days later. He appeared in one game for the Jets last season, converting both of his extra-point attempts in a Week 17 loss to the New England Patriots.
Originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the Buffalo Bills out of Illinois in 2019, McLaughlin has kicked for the Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Chargers in addition to the Jets.
He also spent time on the Minnesota Vikings practice squad in both 2019 and 2020.
All told, McLaughlin has converted almost 97 percent of his extra-point attempts (31-of-33) and almost 79 percent of his field goals (22-of-28) in his travels across the NFL.
McLaughlin is particularly weak from beyond the 40-yard-line, however, as he has only converted 10 field goals on 16 attempts beyond the 40, a rate of 62.5 percent. By comparison, Parkey has converted 76 percent of his field-goal attempts (47-of-62) from beyond 40 yards in his NFL career.