NFL Wire News

Grieving Bengals kicker Nugent has perfect day


CINCINNATI — Mike Nugent missed every practice last week after the sudden death of his dad, Daniel, on Monday night, but the kicker still found a way to get his work in for the Cincinnati Bengals.

After spending a couple of days in Centerville, Ohio, where he grew up, Nugent headed home Wednesday night to get some clothes for the funeral and he decided to stop by Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals left some balls at his locker, and Nugent, his wife, his brother and his sister-in-law went out on the field and worked under the lights.

“My brother came and shagged for me and my wife and my sister-in-law were out there cheering us both on,” Nugent said. “It was fun to be out there. I didn’t want to kick on Sunday vs. Pittsburgh and not again until today. It’s a lot for me to get out there and kick some balls, but I also wanted my coaches to know, ‘Hey, I’m still playing. Everything’s going to be fine.'”

And it was, as Nugent made all three field goals he attempted Sunday in the Bengals’ 30-0 win at Cleveland. He hit from 44, 44 and 34 yards to give him 11 consecutive successful kicks.

What would his dad have thought of the performance?

“He wouldn’t have been happy with my last kickoff,” Nugent said of the kick that made it to only the Cleveland 7-yard line.

After the short kick, Nugent went to the sideline to explain to special teams coordinator Darrin Simmons what went wrong. That’s when Simmons handed him a picture of Nugent and his dad that the coach had printed out and brought to the game.

“People are amazing,” Nugent said. “That’s what I’ve learned this week. People are so unbelievable. We had 5 1/2 hours on Thursday night of people wanting to see him for the last time. That’s nice. People are incredible, and the Cincinnati organization has been unbelievable this week in letting me be with my family.”

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