49ers sign free-agent kicker as Jake Moody injury insurance

Raise your hand if you're familiar with the Niners' newest kicker, Matthew Wright.
Pittsburgh Steelers kicker Matthew Wright (4)
Pittsburgh Steelers kicker Matthew Wright (4) / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

The 49ers hope rookie kicker Jake Moody is clear for Week 1, but they're not taking any chances.

It's weird to think the San Francisco 49ers are shorthanded at kicker after carrying two of them on their offseason roster from the NFL Draft through the preseason.

However, the third and final preseason bout of 2023 revealed a problem as both veteran Zane Gonzalez and rookie Jake Moody were dealing with injuries, which forced the Niners to hope that punter Mitch Wishnowsky could attempt field-goal tries (he couldn't) agains the Los Angeles Chargers.

Gonzalez subsequently landed on season-ending injured reserve with a calf injury suffered during warm-ups prior to that game.

And while Moody cleared and is actively on the 53-man roster despite dealing with a quad injury, his status for San Francisco's Week 1 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers isn't quite known.

Time for some insurance, right?

49ers sign Matthew Wright to practice squad in case Jake Moody isn't ready for Week 1

The 49ers are guarding against the possibility that Moody won't be healthy in time for the season opener on Sept. 10. So, according to a Thursday report from ESPN's Adam Schefter, they're signing 27-year-old kicker Matthew Wright to the practice squad:

Related story: Biggest takeaways (and surprises) from 49ers' opening 53-man roster

Since the Niners already filled their practice squad with 17 players (including one exempt spot), it'll be interesting to see what the corresponding move was to make room for Wright.

Either way, Wright owns a field-goal percentage of 87.0 and has made 35 of 37 extra-point attempts in stints with the Kansas City Chiefs, Pittsburgh Steelers and Jacksonville Jaguars. He broke into the league as an undrafted free-agent signing of the Steelers out of UCF in 2019.

Most recently, he was on the Carolina Panthers but ultimately didn't make their 53-man roster.

As for Moody, that'll be worth monitoring between now and Week 1.

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