No, not that roster change…Colin Kaepernick‘s job is fairly secure at this point, but this one could potentially help score some needed points.
49ers place kicker David Akers could be on the verge of yet another battle for his job. After San Francisco had secured their position in this year’s playoffs, they brought in veteran kicker Billy Cundiff to challenge Akers. At the time it seemed like an odd choice for Niners head coach Jim Harbaugh to bring in, as Cundiff–who was coached by Baltimore Ravens head coach and brother John Harbagugh in 2011–was the man responsible for missing the field goal that would have propelled the Ravens into last year’s Super Bowl.
In the end, the 49ers stuck with Akers, and he went 1-for-1 against the Green Bay Packers in the divisional round. But then yesterday against Atlanta, Akers doinked a field goal attempt off the top of the left upright. The missed FG turned out to be meaningless in the end, but had the Falcons scored on their final drive, it would have been a crucial miss.
Rumors have begun to surface that Akers isn’t guaranteed to be on the 49ers Super Bowl roster, and that Harbaugh is looking at other kickers (besides Cundiff) to make the trip to New Orleans. At this point, Cundiff can’t be signed by any team until the waiver process begins again, which isn’t until after the Super Bowl.
When asked about the possibility of being cut from the roster, Akers said “I’m here until they tell me otherwise,”, per the San Francisco Chronicle.
If Harbaugh does decide that Akers is to be replaced for the final game of the season, who would be a viable repalcement? One option that could surface is Neil Rackers, who has attended workouts with several teams this season. Rackers last played in 2011 with the Houston Texans, and was acquired by the Washington Redskins before the 2012 season began, but was released.
Changing quarterbacks mid-season was a bold (now considered courageous) move that could have potentially backfired in Harbaugh’s face. Changing kickers as you are about to play in the Super Bowl could be going from the frying pan into the fire.
At least with Akers it’s the devil you know.