The “Carli Lloyd Would Get Hurt in the NFL” Take is a Corny Take

Photo Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

I honestly didn’t think this topic was gonna blow up the way it did. I thought it was going to die out rather quickly.

Can Delran, New Jersey native and World Cup winner Carli Lloyd make it in the NFL as a field goal kicker? Apparently she’s serious about giving it a try, not this year, but next year.

Of course, one of the knee-jerk jabroni takes you heard was “no way! she’s a woman! she’d get hurt,” which is a myopic take to me, and I’ll explain why.

First, some background:

  1. Carli Lloyd is 5’7″, about 140 pounds.
  2. Jake Elliott, for comparison, is 5’9 and 168, so he’s carrying two inches and about 30 pounds on her. Cairo Santos is 5’8″, 160, so he’s slighter of frame.
  3. On the higher end of the spectrum, you’ll find guys like Mason Crosby, who stands 6’1″ and weighs 201 pounds. Stephen Hauschka is 6’4″, 210.
  4. The average NFL player stands 6’2″ and weighs 247 pounds

There’s generally some variance in the athletic profile for NFL kickers. Some are bigger and some are smaller, but every single one of them trends well below that average 6’2″, 247 pound number, which puts them on the bottom end of the curve. They are inherently disadvantaged in this department, and that’s why it really probably doesn’t matter that Lloyd would be the shortest and lightest of the entire group.

The reason it doesn’t matter is this:

Most NFL kickers are getting squashed in open space anyway.

I keep reading these takes on Twitter, stuff like, “what happens if the kick gets blocked and she has to try to make a tackle?

That seems like a nothing burger to me, because if a special teamer blocks a kick and starts running, is Jake Elliott going to wrap him up with a form tackle? Is Cairo Santos gonna lay the dude out? I mean, hell, Sebastian Janikowski basically ran off the field last year instead of trying to tackle a guy bombing down the sidelines.

So that’s the point. Most NFL kickers are getting squashed in open space anyway. Carli Lloyd, Jake Elliott, Mason Crosby, and Stephen Hauschka are all going to be at a big disadvantage if Treyvon Hester gets a hand on your attempt and then Bryan Braman is running down the field with the football. For every one instance of Sav Rocca thumping Roscoe Parrish, there are probably 99 times when the kicker just tried to safely take themselves out of the play entirely.

Furthermore, every NFL player is at a high level to suffer various injuries both short term and long term, and/or develop disorders like CTE. That’s the name of the game for anybody who puts on a helmet and pads, so I don’t know if 140 pounds of female weight and bone density has that much higher of a propensity for trauma than 168 pounds of a male frame, since they’re all at an elevated risk to begin with. OF COURSE there are physiological differences between men and women, and it’s crazy to think otherwise, as the woke Twitter mob would try to tell you, but the point that I’m trying to make is that ALL NFL players are predisposed to harm and I think you’re probably looking at a diminished curve regarding the injury potential of a female kicker vs. a male kicker. Nobody is out here saying that Tila Tequila could play middle linebacker, but I think Carli would be okay hitting field goals.

I do read other points though, and a lot of them are valid, stuff like this:

  • does Carli have the leg strength of male kickers?
  • can she shorten her run up? (the video being most circulated shows a run up that’s too long)
  • how about tight angle, shorter field goals that require less leg and more technique?

Those things all make sense, and for the sake of something new, I’d be interested to see how she would address those things if given a shot.

But to shit all over this story because she’s a woman feels corny to me. If she wants to give it a try, I think she should go for it.

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13 Responses

  1. Agree wholeheartedly. If she wants to make a go of it, spend a year working on technique, approach, doing it in pads, etc… If she can reliably hit 50+ yarders she’ll find a place… the value add easily is greater than the risk of her not able to save a touchdown with a tackle. The opportunity to do that might happen what once per season? As opposed to 2-5 or more field goal attempts per game.

    1. Big difference standing on a field unopposed with a running start kicking a field goal. Try doing it with 6-5 270 guys trying to block it. Also has to do kickoffs and PAT’s. Kickers are slight of build but they also work out in weight room.

    2. its a huge joke. If it were that easy, why wouldnt the top 100 male soccer players in america try it? Its better money than the MLS.

  2. Nobody expects a kicker to tackle, but they do take hits. Over the last five years, there have been 46 running into the kicker penalties. She will get flattened at some point.

  3. The fact that it’s a story at all is corny. I don’t know shit about soccer, I asked a friend who does about this. He played at a great SEC football school, but not elite at soccer. He said he’s played over all his yrs with dozens of guys that would nail 50 yrd football kicks. That wherever it is that someone might live, you can shake a tree at a mid level college and guys that can do that would fall out. There’s a lot of other things to consider when doing it at the NFL level.
    Is this likely so?

  4. nfl kickers with same running start are kicking out of endzone and through uprights on kickoffs. 0% chance she can do that. also girls get concussions from heading a soccer ball. imagine 1 helmet to helmet contact. she might go into a coma.

  5. I want her to hit the turf into next Tuesday. That will put and to women in the league.

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