John Potter approaching Sunday as if he will kick

September 27, 2013

Place kicker John Potter (1) remains on the roster with Kai Forbath (2) still sidelined with a groin injury. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

With uncertainty still hovering over the health of place kicker Kai Forbath, teammate John Potter said that he will continue to approach Sunday’s game at Oakland with the belief that he will kick in a third straight week.

A groin injury has sidelined Forbath since Sept. 12, forcing him to miss the Redskins’ games against the Packers and Lions. Potter, who spent training camp and the preseason with Washington and then re-signed with the team Sept. 14, has kicked in Forbath’s place.

A second-year player, who served as a kickoff specialist for Buffalo in six games during the 2012 season, Potter missed the first field goal attempt of his NFL career: a 50-yarder at Green Bay. But the Western Michigan product rebounded last week, making both of his attempts last week against Detroit.

“It feels great to finally get some points on the board and get a few field goals under my belt,” Potter said Thursday. “It gives me confidence heading into this next game.”

Potter has demonstrated a strong leg on kickoffs, recording touchbacks on five of his nine attempts. Last week he blasted three kicks out the back of the end zone. Potter displayed the same leg strength in training camp. But consistent accuracy on field goals proved a weakness. Potter continues to work for consistency and hopes last week’s success and more opportunities spark growth.

“It’s two different kicks. One, you’re going for power. The other, is about being smooth and consistent,” Potter said. “It’s a matter of practicing both of them and knowing the feel you have to have for each kick.”

Forbath, who made an NFL record 17 consecutive field goals to start his NFL career last season, is expected to test his sore groin with some kicks either Friday or Saturday, Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan said. A healthy return for Forbath could mean unemployment for Potter. But Potter said his solution for handling the stressful situation is to avoid dwelling on the ‘what ifs’.

“I just assume I’m going to be the kicker and I treat it that way every day – working, kicking, working out,” he said. “That’s just life as NFL kicker. You just treat every day like you’re going to be the starting guy.”

Have a Redskins question? E-mail Mike Jones at mike.jones@washpost.com with the subject line “Mailbag question” for him to answer it in The Mailbag on Tuesday.

What’s ahead:

 ● Mike Jones’s five Redskins vs. Raiders story lines

● The Redskins practice Friday at 11:50 a.m.; Sunday’s game kicks off at 4:25 p.m.

More on the Redskins and NFL:

Orakpo led his family without his parents; he believes he can lead Redskins

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Kyle Shanahan: No more element of surprise for option attack

Des Bieler previews the Week 4 matchups | More NFL at The Early Lead

D.C. Sports Bog: Dexter Manley’s roast of Joe Gibbs | More Bog

Follow: @MikeJonesWaPo | @MarkMaske | @Insider | Insider on Facebook

Mike Jones covers the Washington Redskins for The Washington Post. When not writing about a Redskins development of some kind – which is rare – he can be found screaming and cheering at one of his kids’ softball, baseball, soccer or basketball games.
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Mark Maske · September 27, 2013