Justin Tucker, Baltimore Ravens
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Justin Tucker, Most Accurate Kicker In History, Ready To Tackle

Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker is practicing something he hasn’t had to practice since high school: tackling.

Justin Tucker is also bulking up, and so far has increased his body weight by 3.8 pounds. The reason? The NFL’s new kickoff play, which increases the odds of him having to make a tackle by 25%.

At least that’s how it worked out in the XFL, where the change originated. Under the new rules, kickers will find themselves the last line of defense when kicking from their 35-yard line.


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“This might be really surprising to a lot of you guys and a lot of my teammates because I don’t hang out in the weight room too frequently,” said Justin Tucker. 

“Now I got to get some more shrugs, get the traps going a little bit, just to make sure I’m prepared for a little bit more contact.”

Tucker has gone to the Pro Bowl seven times as a kicker. He is even the holder of several records, including most accurate kicker in league history with a 90.2% hit-rate. As well as that, he has scored the most NFL field goals in history with 395.

His experience with tackling is significantly more limited. Tucker has made eight tackles in 195 games.


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“I don’t think [tackling is] necessarily something that is encouraged [for kickers], but it’s not discouraged either,” Tucker said. 

“It kind of just comes with a territory. It’s a football play. We’re all football players out there, and ultimately if a returner is beelining toward the end zone and I’m the last guy there to stop him, it is part of my job description.”

We’ll see how refined his tackling technique is come the new season.

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