Taylor Russolino has spent a ton of time on social media since the XFL shut down, showcasing his talents for any NFL team looking for a kicker. He waited patiently and finally in December, he was picked up by the Broncos and added to their practice squad.
All of Russolino’s patience appears as though it will pay off. Unless there is a late change, he will finally get to make his NFL debut on Saturday.
Head coach Vic Fangio made the announcement today that unless there is some change in the COVID protocols, he doesn’t foresee Brandon McManus being cleared to kick. He also mentioned that if the game were being held on Sunday he would have been cleared, but since it is a Saturday, he won’t meet the guidelines set by the league.
Fangio went on to say that he had not seen Russolino kick until Wednesday since he was with the practice squad.
“He kicked very well yesterday in practice. I was very encouraged by what he did in practice yesterday. If he kicks as good as he did yesterday in practice, we’ll be fine.”
Broncos Special Teams Coordinator, Tom McMahon first heard about Russolino from Pat McAfee. McAfee played with McMahon for seven seasons in Indianapolis and reached out to McMahon after working a game for the XFL.
McAfee told McMahon that the St Louis BattleHawks kicker had the right traits he looks for in a player, and that put Russolino on the shortlist of kickers to look for in the event they needed depth.
After all of the hard work and dedication he has shown, it looks like everything is lining up for Russolino to finally get the chance he deserves. His opportunity comes as a result of some crazy circumstances and timing, but as anyone who watched him kick before knows, this opportunity is long overdue.
Good luck to Russolino on Saturday and from all BattleHawks fans; KA-KAW!
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