Raiders place K Sebastian Janikowski on IR with back injury
By JOSH DUBOW, AP Pro Football Writer
ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) — The Oakland Raiders placed long-time kicker Sebastian Janikowski on injured reserve Saturday with an injured back and promoted Giorgio Tavecchio to the active roster.
The team made the move a day before the season opener against the Titans. The Raiders had signed Tavecchio on Friday as insurance if Janikowski wasn’t healed and brought him to Tennessee in case he needed to be activated.
Janikowski joined the Raiders as a surprise first-round pick in 2000 and is one of the few remaining ties to late owner Al Davis. The only player on the active roster who was with the team before Davis died in October 2011 is long snapper Jon Condo.
Janikowski has attempted every field goal and extra point for the team since the 2001 regular-season finale when Brad Daluiso replaced him. Janikowski returned for the playoffs the following year.
Janikowski is the franchise’s career leader in games played with 268 and points with 1,799. He also is the NFL career leader in made field goals of at least 50 yards with 55 and his 63-yard field goal in the 2011 season opener is tied for the second-longest in team history.
Janikowski has been bothered in recent weeks by the back injury and the Raiders brought in Josh Lambo, Mike Nugent and Marshall Koehn for workouts earlier this week.
The team also reportedly renegotiated Janikowski’s contract, cutting his salary from $4 million to $3 million.
Tavecchio has spent time in training camp with the Raiders the past four seasons but has never kicked in a regular-season game. He made three of four field goals and five of six extra points in the exhibition season this year. He missed a 36-yard field goal against Seattle and an extra point against Dallas.
Tavecchio may only get a one-week tryout as Oakland could look to sign a more proven kicker next week now that the team knows Janikowski will be out for a significant amount of time.
Janikowski will have to miss at least eight weeks. Oakland could choose to designate him as one of two players to return from injured reserve this season.
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