When Zane Gonzalez jogged toward the 34-yard-line at Lambeau Field on Sunday, he found himself in a position he knows all too well.
Game tied. A win resting on his right foot.
It’s also a position that cost Gonzalez his job earlier this season. He was cut by the Cleveland Browns after missing two field goals and two extra points in a 21-18 Week 2 loss to the New Orleans Saints a week after a potential game-winning field goal was blocked in overtime against the Pittsburgh Steelers, leading to a tie.
For almost 10 weeks, Gonzalez was unemployed as he rehabbed and recovered from a groin injury. But on Nov. 20, with Phil Dawson’s hip injury preventing him from getting a full extension on his kicks, the Arizona Cardinals gave Gonzalez a second chance and signed him to their practice squad. Coach Steve Wilks liked Gonzalez’s leg strength and his accuracy — despite his early-season struggles.
The second-year player out of Arizona State was promoted to the active roster on Nov. 26, when Dawson went on injured reserve.
On Sunday, with the Cardinals and Green Bay Packers tied at 17-17 and 1 minute, 45 seconds left in the game, Gonzalez found his mark on the field and lined up for redemption.
He nailed it, and the Cardinals then hung on for a 20-17 win, their first in Green Bay since 1949.