First regular chance for journeyman

Updated: October 16, 2004, 6:03 PM ET
By Len Pasquarelli | ESPN.com

With incumbent John Hall sidelined by a groin injury for Sunday's game, the sputtering Washington Redskins were forced on Saturday to sign free agent Ola Kimrin, who has never kicked in the regular season.

Kimrin, 32, was with the Redskins in training camp and preseason before being released. In exhibition games, the Swedish-born Kimrin converted all three of his field-goal attempts, including a 39-yarder that lifted the Redskins over the Denver Broncos.

At 6-3 and 230 pounds, he looks more like a linebacker and possesses an incredibly strong leg. With the Broncos during the 2002 preseason, Kimrin boomed a 65-yard field goal. The record for regular-season play is 63 yards, shared by Tom Dempsey of New Orleans (1970) and by current Broncos kicker Jason Elam (1998).

Formerly of Texas-El Paso, Kimrin has bounced around NFL training camps for years. Besides his experience in three different NFL training camps, he kicked three seasons in NFL Europe, including stints with Frankfurt in 2001-02 and Cologne in 2003.

Kimrin has noted in the past his "extreme passion" for wanting to kick in a regular-season game and said that was why he keeps rebuffing suggestions that he return to Sweden and become involved in the family business.

Hall injured his right groin in practice Thursday afternoon. When he tried to test his leg after the injury, he could not continue and the Redskins personnel department made a hasty emergency call to Kimrin, who arrived at the team complex on Friday morning to prepare the game with Chicago.

It has been an injury-plagued early season for Hall, who sustained a right hamstring strain in the opening win over Tampa Bay, the Redskins' lone victory in five outings. Washington signed Kimrin to the practice squad the next week and then released him when Hall was able to kick in the second game.

An eight-year veteran, Hall has suffered more than his share of leg problems. Known for his aggressive approach to the ball and his tough guy demeanor, Hall has one of the NFL's strongest legs.

He has converted 7 of 9 field-goal tries this season, but none longer than 34 yards, and has missed two attempts from beyond 39 yards.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. To check out Len's chat archive, click here Insider.

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