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49ers Sign Ex-Steelers Kicker, Week 1 Plan Up in the Air



Steelers 49ers kicker Matthew Wright
PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 09: Pittsburgh Steelers kicker Matthew Wright (16) kicks an extra point during the NFL football game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Pittsburgh Steelers on August 09, 2019 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, PA. (Photo by Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire)

The San Francisco 49ers will sign former Pittsburgh Steelers kicker Matthew Wright to shore up their disastrous kicking situation ahead of the Week 1 game between the Steelers and 49ers on Sept. 10, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.

This offseason, the 49ers set out to replace longtime kicker Robbie Gould, who turned 40 last season and was 20th in the NFL in field goal percentage, with a longest made kick of just 51 yards.

To do so, general manager John Lynch drafted Michigan Wolverines kicker Jake Moody with the 99th pick in the third round of this spring’s draft. That plan started to look questionable when Moody struggled this preseason, finishing 3 of 5 on field goals and 1 of 2 on extra points.

The he got hurt, straining his quad late in training camp. Zane Gonzalez, who the 49ers traded to get as a backup plan, was put on season-ending IR with a calf strain suffered before warmups of the preseason finale.

So the 49ers are taking out an insurance policy in the name of Wright, who was cut by the Carolina Panthers last week. Wright served as a backup for both the Steelers and Kansas City Chiefs last year, making 83.3% of his kicks with a long of 59 yards and going 15 for 15 on extra points.

Wright will come with the additional bonus of extensive familiarity with kicking at Acrisure Stadium over his three stints with the Steelers, dating back to 2019.

The 49ers remain hopeful that Moody may be able to return in time to kick in Week 1, though it’s not totally clear that he’d be the better option over the reliable Wright, who will join the Niners’ practice squad, at least initially.

The Steelers and 49ers are set to kick off at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 10 from Acrisure Stadium. The game will be broadcast on FOX.