Chris Boswell is enduring a rough season but it appears the Pittsburgh Steelers are sticking with the struggling kicker, according to a report by ESPN on Thursday.
Boswell has missed a total of 11 kicks this season, five extra points and six field goals. He is 10 for 16 on field goals this season, missed two field goals and slipped on the turf in Oakland when lining up for a 40-yard field goal with as time expired in a 24-21 loss to the Raiders on Sunday.
Earlier this week, Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin said he would "explore options" and "that included Chris" and on Wednesday, veterans Kai Forbath and Matt McCrane were brought in to audition.
"We acknowledge that Chris has struggled. He has struggled to find consistent footing," Tomlin said. "We are willing to explore options that give us the best chances of the ball going through the uprights this week. That being said, those options include Chris."
Forbath was released by the Minnesota Vikings in August in favor of Daniel Carlson, although the rookie was cut a few weeks later after missing three field-goal attempts -- including two in overtime -- in a 29-29 tie with the Green Bay Packers.
The 31-year-old Forbath made 32 of 38 field-goal attempts and 34 of 39 extra-point tries last season. He went 116-for-136 on his field-goal attempts with the Washington Redskins, New Orleans Saints and Vikings.
McCrane has kicked for both the Arizona Cardinals and Oakland Raiders this season, making 5 of 9 field-goal attempts and all eight extra-point tries.
Boswell joined the Steelers by winning a 2015 tryout competition against Forbath.
He entered this season with an 89.5 career percentage and made a career-high 92.1 percent of his attempts last season when he earned a Pro Bowl selection. In his first three seasons, Boswell missed just three extra points but struggled significantly from distances of 40 to 49 yards by going 3-for-8 from that range this season after the ill-fated attempt in Oakland.
"I've been in that situation before," Boswell said Wednesday. "I came here off the street. I was cut many times before that. I've kind of always had my back against the wall since coming out of college."
In August, Boswell was signed to a five-year contract extension worth approximately $20 million. The new contract included a $6 million signing bonus and if the Steelers cut him, Boswell would count $4.8 million in dead money on the salary cap next season.