Carolina Panthers

Gano has tenuous hold on Panthers' kicking job

Posted September 4
Updated September 5

Carolina Panthers kicker Graham Gano (9) boots in the extra point. St. Louis Rams visiting the Carolina Panthers on Sunday October 20, 2013. Rams first play from scrimmage was intercepted and returned for a TD and the Panthers never looked back with a hime victory of 30-15. Photo by CHRIS BAIRD

— Graham Gano could be the starting kicker for the Carolina Panthers on Sunday — or he may be traded this week.

The 30-year-old Gano doesn't know exactly what his future holds as the Panthers prepare for the season opener at San Francisco. Carolina kept two kickers on its 53-man roster — seventh-round draft pick Harrison Butker is the other — but is actively shopping Gano.

"I've never been on the 53 with two kickers, but I'm excited to be here," said Gano, the team's starting kicker since 2012.

"As far as I'm concerned, I'm going to be here this week. That's how I'm preparing for the job. I feel like I'm hitting the ball great and just excited to be here."

Panthers coach Ron Rivera said he's leaning toward playing "the more experienced kicker" against the 49ers if he's still on the roster, which would be Gano.

Interim general manager Marty Hurney called it a fluid situation on Sunday, but wouldn't directly say if he's shopping either or both kickers. Nor did he have any timetable on when the Panthers might decide on a kicker.

"That's a hard question to answer. You see how it goes," Hurney said. "Right now we feel like we've been able to do it. It could be a long time or a short time."

Gano missed some big field goals for Carolina last season, perhaps none more important than the season opener at Denver at the end of regulation. Had Gano connected on the 50-yard attempt, the Panthers could have gotten at least partially even for their Super Bowl loss to the Broncos and it's possible the season might have turned out differently.

Instead, he hooked the kick wide left, the Panthers lost the game and started the season 1-5. Carolina finished 6-10 and out of the playoffs for the first time since 2012.

Gano also missed three field goals in the season finale against Tampa Bay, prompting former general manager Dave Gettleman to draft Butker in the seventh round.

Gano has outkicked Butker at training camp, but has clanked two 50-yard field goals off the post during games.

"It's just unlucky," Gano said. "I've just got to come out to practice and work and get better."

If the Panthers were to cut Butker he would have a chance to join the practice squad but would first have to clear waivers. There's no guaranteeing that would happen.

There's always competition in the NFL, but in this case it's a little different. Both kickers know that ultimately it will be either one or the other who sticks around in Carolina.

Still, Gano said it hasn't been an awkward situation, calling Butker a "good kid."

Gano has been Carolina's kicker since 2012 and his focus right now is on retaining that situation in the midst of a highly competitive environment.

"As long as I'm here, I'm going to be here. Coach Rivera always says be where your feet are and that's what I'm going to do," he said. "I'm going to keep preparing like I'm playing this week. And as far as I know, I am."

___

For more NFL coverage: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

Comments

Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
Listen & Watch
  • HighSchoolOT Live

    Friday at 7:00 pm on WRAL-2

  • Football Friday

    Friday at 11:35 pm on WRAL-TV

  • ACC Football: Pittsburgh @ Georgia Tech

    Saturday at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Logan Zone

    Sunday at 11:00 am on WRAL-TV

  • Golf: The Tour Championship

    Sunday at 1:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Oakland @ Washington

    Friday, Sep. 29 at 8:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL Football: Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco 49ers

    Tomorrow at 8:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • College Football: Duke at North Carolina

    Saturday at 3:30 pm on Buzz Sports Radio

AP Top 25
Thu, Sept 21
4:30 PT5:30 MT6:30 CT7:30 ET11:30 GMT7:30 北京时间4:30 MST6:30 EST
Preview
21
Fri, Sept 22
23
7:30 PT8:30 MT9:30 CT10:30 ET2:30 GMT10:30 北京时间7:30 MST9:30 EST
Preview
Sat, Sept 23
9:00 PT10:00 MT11:00 CT12:00 ET4:00 GMT12:00 北京时间9:00 MST11:00 EST
Preview
12
9:00 PT10:00 MT11:00 CT12:00 ET4:00 GMT12:00 北京时间9:00 MST11:00 EST
Preview
19
9:00 PT10:00 MT11:00 CT12:00 ET4:00 GMT12:00 北京时间9:00 MST11:00 EST
Preview
10
11:00 PT12:00 MT1:00 CT2:00 ET6:00 GMT2:00 北京时间11:00 MST1:00 EST
Preview
13
5
12:30 PT1:30 MT2:30 CT3:30 ET7:30 GMT3:30 北京时间12:30 MST2:30 EST
Preview
12:30 PT1:30 MT2:30 CT3:30 ET7:30 GMT3:30 北京时间12:30 MST2:30 EST
Preview
2
12:30 PT1:30 MT2:30 CT3:30 ET7:30 GMT3:30 北京时间12:30 MST2:30 EST
Preview
14
16
12:30 PT1:30 MT2:30 CT3:30 ET7:30 GMT3:30 北京时间12:30 MST2:30 EST
Preview
6
1
12:30 PT1:30 MT2:30 CT3:30 ET7:30 GMT3:30 北京时间12:30 MST2:30 EST
Preview
8
1:00 PT2:00 MT3:00 CT4:00 ET8:00 GMT4:00 北京时间1:00 MST3:00 EST
Preview
3:00 PT4:00 MT5:00 CT6:00 ET10:00 GMT6:00 北京时间3:00 MST5:00 EST
Preview
18
3
3:30 PT4:30 MT5:30 CT6:30 ET10:30 GMT6:30 北京时间3:30 MST5:30 EST
Preview
22
4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET11:00 GMT7:00 北京时间4:00 MST6:00 EST
Preview
17
4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET11:00 GMT7:00 北京时间4:00 MST6:00 EST
Preview
11
4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET11:00 GMT7:00 北京时间4:00 MST6:00 EST
Preview
25
4
4:30 PT5:30 MT6:30 CT7:30 ET11:30 GMT7:30 北京时间4:30 MST6:30 EST
Preview
20
4:30 PT5:30 MT6:30 CT7:30 ET11:30 GMT7:30 北京时间4:30 MST6:30 EST
Preview
15
4:30 PT5:30 MT6:30 CT7:30 ET11:30 GMT7:30 北京时间4:30 MST6:30 EST
Preview
24
7:00 PT8:00 MT9:00 CT10:00 ET2:00 GMT10:00 北京时间7:00 MST9:00 EST
Preview
7
7:00 PT8:00 MT9:00 CT10:00 ET2:00 GMT10:00 北京时间7:00 MST9:00 EST
Preview
NFL Scoreboard
Thursday, Sep. 21
LA Rams 5:25 PT6:25 MT7:25 CT8:25 ET0:25 GMT8:25 5:25 MST7:25 EST7:25 CT4:25 UAE (+1)20:25 ETNaN:�
Preview
San Francisco 
Sunday, Sep. 24
Baltimore 6:30 PT7:30 MT8:30 CT9:30 ET13:30 GMT21:30 6:30 MST8:30 EST8:30 CT17:30 UAE9:30 ETNaN:�
Preview
Jacksonville 
Denver 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
Buffalo 
New Orleans 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
Carolina 
Pittsburgh 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
Preview
Chicago 
Atlanta 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
Detroit 
Cleveland 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
Preview
Indianapolis 
Tampa Bay 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
Minnesota 
Houston 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
Preview
New England 
Miami 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
Preview
NY Jets 
NY Giants 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
Preview
Philadelphia 
Seattle 1:05 PT2:05 MT3:05 CT4:05 ET20:05 GMT4:05 1:05 MST3:05 EST3:05 CT0:05 UAE (+1)16:05 ETNaN:�
Tennessee 
Cincinnati 1:25 PT2:25 MT3:25 CT4:25 ET20:25 GMT4:25 1:25 MST3:25 EST3:25 CT0:25 UAE (+1)16:25 ETNaN:�
Preview
Green Bay 
Kansas City 1:25 PT2:25 MT3:25 CT4:25 ET20:25 GMT4:25 1:25 MST3:25 EST3:25 CT0:25 UAE (+1)16:25 ETNaN:�
LA Chargers 
Oakland 5:30 PT6:30 MT7:30 CT8:30 ET0:30 GMT8:30 5:30 MST7:30 EST7:30 CT4:30 UAE (+1)20:30 ETNaN:�
Preview
Washington 
Monday, Sep. 25
Dallas 5:30 PT6:30 MT7:30 CT8:30 ET0:30 GMT8:30 5:30 MST7:30 EST7:30 CT4:30 UAE (+1)20:30 ETNaN:�
Arizona 
Minor League Baseball
International League
Memphis 4:07 PT5:07 MT6:07 CT7:07 ET12:07 GMT
Durham 
ATP Scoreboard
Wednesday, Sep. 20
St. Petersburg Open (ATP)
First Round
R. Dutra Silv2 6 6   
R. Albot6 2 2   
(8) J. Struff3 6 6   
B. Coric6 2 4   
D. Lajovic64 3    
G. Pella77 6    
D. Medvedev64 5    
T. Fabbiano77 7    
J. Sousa77 6    
E. Donskoy62 3    
Second Round
D. Dzumhur6 77    
M. Baghdatis4 64    
(4) A. Mannarino6 4 0   
L. Broady2 6 6   
 
Moselle Open (ATP)
First Round
D. Brown1 64    
N. Mahut6 77    
(5) M. Zverev63 6 6   
P. Herbert77 3 2   
P. Mathieu5 2    
H. Laaksonen7 6    
Second Round
(8) G. Simon4 64    
P. Gojowczyk6 77    
 
WTA Scoreboard
Wednesday, Sep. 20
Guangzhou Women's Open (WTA)
Second Round
(3) A. Kontaveit0 5    
L. Cabrera6 7    
Y. Wang1 2    
E. Rodina6 6    
A. Krunic6 6    
M. Barthel4 0    
K. Zhang3 0    
R. Peterson6 6    
(2) S. Zhang6 6    
I. Soylu0 0    
X. Han0 0    
K. Kozlova6 6    
(1) S. Peng4 4    
Y. Wickmayer6 6    
(6) A. Cornet77 2 6   
D. Kovinic64 6 3   
 
Korea Open (WTA)
First Round
(6) T. Maria5 5    
K. Ahn7 7    
Second Round
S. Sorribes T6 6    
N. Han1 2    
(5) I. Begu3 6 2   
B. Haddad Mai6 4 6   
V. Cepede Roy 
K. Ahn 
 
Toray Pan Pacific Open (WTA)
Second Round
(2) K. Pliskova6 6    
M. Linette2 1    
(1) G. Muguruza6 6    
M. Puig4 0    
(7) A. Kerber77 6    
D. Kasatkina65 3