K Rayner accepts another part-time job
Buffalo Bills substitute kicker Dave Rayner has had plenty of
short-term jobs in his NFL career. He’s hoping the latest one
eventually turns into a full-time gig somewhere.
After longtime kicker Rian Lindell broke a bone in his right
shoulder while trying to make a tackle in Buffalo’s loss to the New
York Jets on Sunday, the Bills signed the journeyman Rayner to help
Rayner, who will make his debut Sunday when the Bills (5-3) play
at Dallas (4-4), is already on his eighth team – and second this
year – in his sixth season.
”These are the kind of jobs here that help you get a permanent
job,” the 29-year-old said. ”I’ll never turn down a job. I’ll
come in here and hopefully do well for as many games as I’m here.
Hopefully teams see that, and I get a permanent gig soon.”
After being drafted by Indianapolis in the sixth round in 2005,
Rayner dressed for 14 games as a rookie, but was used as a kickoff
specialist and attempted just one field goal. The following season
he was picked up by Green Bay, where he connected on 26 of 35
field-goal attempts, including a 54-yarder.
But that production wasn’t enough to hang onto the job. Since
then, he has toiled in San Diego, Kansas City, Cincinnati, and
Detroit before a one-game stint last month with Oakland filling in
for an injured Sebastian Janikowski in a 28-0 loss to Kansas
”He’s been around, so anybody that’s with the Bills that’s been
on another team has probably played with Dave,” quarterback Ryan
Fitzpatrick said. ”I know I was with him in Cincinnati. We came
out in the same draft, so I know him. He’s a good guy, easy going,
fits into what we have going on here in the locker room. He’s a
pro. He gets paid to make kicks, and that’s what we expect him to
do. I don’t think he’s going to have any problem coming in and
After the Lions’ Jason Hanson went down with a knee injury last
year, Rayner drilled 13 of 16 field goals in eight games, including
seven straight to end the season. But with Hanson healthy to start
this season, Rayner was no longer needed on the team he rooted for
as a kid while growing up in Detroit.
”There’s only 32 jobs,” he said. ”It’s inevitable that every
year somebody’s going to have an injury, or something’s going to
happen, so you’ve got to be ready. I’m happy to be here.”
Bills coach Chan Gailey is happy to have him.
”He had experience,” Gailey said. ”Having experience was one
of the biggest factors.”
Gailey isn’t sure how long Lindell will be out after getting
hurt while tripping up Joe McKnight on a 59-yard kickoff return to
open the second half against the Jets. Lindell subsequently hit a
24-yard field goal in the third quarter, but then was held out in
the fourth quarter, with punter Brian Moorman handling the kickoff
Lindell has never missed a game in his nine seasons in Buffalo,
and his 204 career field goals and 875 points rank second on the
team’s all-time lists.
”They’re telling me we’ll take it a week at a time,” Gailey
said about the injury. ”I’m hoping it’s not as long as maybe
they’re saying that it could be.”
Until Lindell returns, Rayner will don yet another NFL jersey
for his collection. But don’t count on him putting it in a frame
and hanging it up in his house anytime soon.
”My wife actually asked about that because we’ve got a finished
basement, and I want to start putting some stuff up,” he cracked.
”She said, `We don’t have room for all the jerseys,’ and I’m like,
`Ahhh, I understand.’ So I may get a helmet of different teams and
put them up somewhere.”
Meanwhile, the Bills signed defensive back Mana Silva to the
practice squad on Thursday.