Lions have found their new kicker

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News

Allen Park — The Detroit Lions have a new kicker.

One day after head coach Dan Campbell said the team would explore alternatives at the position, the Lions are signing Riley Patterson off the New England Patriots practice squad, the team announced Tuesday.

An undrafted free agent out of Memphis, Patterson initially signed with the Minnesota Vikings before suffering an undisclosed injury that landed him on injured reserve. After being released with a settlement, he joined the Patriots last month. 

Kicker Riley Patterson, who played collegiately at Memphis, has signed with the Detroit Lions.

At Memphis, Patterson made 64 of his 83 field-goal attempts across four seasons, with a career-long of 56 yards. He earned all-conference honors in 2019 after converting 23 of 25 attempts. He also handled kickoffs for the school, securing a touchback on 162 of the 295 attempts. 

For the time being, Patterson will replace Ryan Santoso, who was filling in for the injured Austin Seibert, continuing Detroit's odyssey to replace Matt Prater, who departed as a free agent this offseason, signing a two-year, $6.5-million contract with the Arizona Cardinals.

After letting Prater walk, the Lions signed veteran Randy Bullock to compete with Matthew Wright in training camp. Eventually, Wright was waived and replaced by Zane Gonzalez, before both he and Bullock were cut before the season. 

More: Lions' Decker angry and annoyed with media negativity, trade speculation

The Lions eventually claimed Seibert, a fifth-round pick out of Oklahoma in 2019, off waivers from the Bengals prior to Week 1. He proved to offer some stability at the spot when healthy, making 10 of his 12 field goals. 

Santoso filled in for Seibert earlier in the season, when the starter landed on the COVID reserve list for two weeks, and again last Sunday against Pittsburgh when Seibert landed on injured reserve with a hip injury. 

Santoso would go on to miss an extra point and a 48-yard field goal in overtime of that contest, twice costing the Lions a chance at their first victory of the season in the 16-16 tie with Pittsburgh. 

The Lions released Santoso on Monday, along with veteran receiver Geronimo Allison. In three games, he had played 47 offensive snaps and was targeted twice, failing to record a reception. 

In addition to bringing on Patterson, the Lions also added kicker Aldrick Rosas to the practice squad. The six-year veteran was most recently with the New Orleans Saints. In 58 career games, he's made 71 of 90 field goals with a long of 57 yards. 

We're running a new-subscriber special. Support local journalism, and subscribe here.

Twitter: @Justin_Rogers