Chiefs sign kicker as insurance for Santos injury

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Chiefs signed an insurance policy against the potential loss of kicker Cairo Santos for Friday’s preseason opener against the San Francisco 49ers.

The Kansas City Chiefs signed former Penn State kicker Sam Ficken as insurance against the recent injury sustained by kicker Cairo Santos. (Photo courtesy Penn State athletics,

The team auditioned several kickers Tuesday before settling on free agent Sam Ficken.

Santos left practice Monday with a groin injury. Chiefs head coach Andy Reid indicated the injury may stem from scar tissue remaining from a previous injury in college. Reid indicated he does not believe the injury to a be long-term issue.

Ficken attended the Chiefs rookie minicamp in May 2015 as an undrafted free agent but was not signed by the club. He spent training camp with the Jacksonville Jaguars last season before the team placed him on waivers Aug. 29.

He connected on a 29-yard field goal and two extra points during two preseason games last year.

Ficken converted 54 of 75 (72 percent) field goal tries at Penn State. He made 97 percent of his extra point attempts, finishing his career 109 out of 112 tries. He led the Big Ten with 24 field goals during his senior year in 2014, good for an 83 percent accuracy mark.

The club cleared roster space for Ficken by waiving wide receiver Corey Washington.

The team signed Washington July 31 but he had not appeared on the practice field in recent days. A team spokesperson could not confirm if Washington suffered an injury.


Matt Derrick is the lead beat writer for Use the contact page to reach him or find him on Twitter: @MattDerrick.