- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Nick Novak is in, and John Hall is out as the kicker of the Washington Redskins.

Novak won a tryout among several kickers yesterday afternoon at Redskin Park, passed a physical and signed a contract. Hall — hobbled by strained quadriceps and groin muscles — was placed on injured reserve, ending his season and likely his tenure with the Redskins.

Novak will handle kicks and kickoffs Sunday against the Tennessee Titans.

Neither Novak nor anyone from the Redskins organization was made available to reporters during the day because Hall could not be reached and informed of the news. Hall left Redskin Park at noon through a side door.

Competing against Novak, 25, in the tryout were Todd Peterson, Jose Cortez and Tyler Jones. Also spotted walking out of the complex was veteran punter Sean Landeta, 44, who last punted Jan. 1 for the Philadelphia Eagles against the Redskins. Derrick Frost remains the Redskins’ punter.

Novak missed only one field goal during the tryout, his final attempt. This will be his second stint with the Redskins; he played five games for them last season while filling in for Hall.

Novak told reporters around 2:30 p.m. that he had gotten the job. But it wasn’t until nearly four hours later, after he had passed his physical and signed a contract, that it became official. Team officials had Novak stay at the complex until 6 p.m., but he was allowed to leave when efforts to reach Hall failed.

Novak spent four years (2001-04) with the Maryland Terrapins, scoring 393 points. He served short stints with the Chicago Bears and Dallas Cowboys, then signed with the Redskins on Sept. 13, 2005, after Hall was sidelined with a quadriceps injury.

Novak made five of seven field goal attempts and 15 of 15 extra points for the Redskins. His 39-yard field goal in Week 3 gave them a 20-17 win over the Seattle Seahawks.

Novak was released when Hall returned last season, and he signed with the Arizona Cardinals in early December. He made all three of his field goal attempts for the Cardinals, then went to their offseason camp.

However, he couldn’t unseat Neil Rackers and finished 2-for-2 on field goals before being released.

The Redskins’ kicking position became an issue last weekend when Hall’s right (kicking) leg felt fatigued. Frost handled the two kickoffs, and Hall was 1-for-2 on field goals. As the game progressed, his leg felt worse. On Monday, he was diagnosed with the quadriceps/groin injuries.

In his first seven seasons, Hall missed only one game. But in 2004, he missed eight games with a hamstring injury, making eight of 11 field goals. Last year, he kicked three field goals in the opener before a leg injury sidelined him for five games.


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