Havard “Kickalicious” Rugland was released by the Detroit Lions after an attempt to make an NFL roster. Rugland earned a roster spot for training camp with the Lions after becoming an internet sensation for his kicking exhibitions on YouTube.
The Lions elected to keep veteran David Akers as their kicker instead of Rugland, who still had a decent showing in his first shot at making a team. Rugland was a perfect 3 for 3 on field goal attempts, including a 50-yarder, and 2 for 2 on extra points. He also kicked touchbacks on two of his six kickoff attempts.
After being released by the Lions, he also had a tryout with the Green Bay Packers before returning to his home in Norway. However, the Lions were apparently hoping they could keep Rugland around, though not by conventional means.
According to a report by Roy Kvatningen of Nettavisen in Norway, the Lions were hoping to designate Rugland as an “international practice squad” player. That designation would basically allow the team an exemption to give Rugland an additional spot on their practice squad. Rugland said the league apparently told the Lions that the rule was made in regard to NFL Europe, which no longer exists.
NFL teams had been allowed a roster exemption to bring one international player to training camp above the former 80-man roster limit.
The rule allowing an international practice squad player apparently hasn’t been removed from the rule book, but the Lions were rejected nevertheless.
Rugland said he received positive feedback from the Lions and Packers and believes he still has a good chance of ultimately finding a home in the NFL.