The dark lord of Tampa Bay’s kicking game is returning to his throne.
Connor Barth, known by the moniker “Barth Vader” to some fans, has been given clearance to kick again after suffering an achilles injury last offseason.
The fan favorite kicker spent last season on injured reserve because he tore his achilles tendon while playing in a charity basketball game. He had surgery in July and has been recovering ever since.
Barth turns 28 on April 11th, and he currently holds the highest field goal percentage in Buccaneer franchise history. He has hit 84.2% of his field goal attempts in his career.
Last season, Barth’s future with the Buccaneers seemed dim. In wake of his injury, the team went out and signed veteran kickers Lawrence Tynes and Rian Lindell. Tynes contracted MRSA in August and never saw the field for the Bucs, while Lindell went on to be the team’s kicker for the 2013 season.
Lindell, 37, hit on 79.3% of his attempts, but failed to come up in the clutch when the team really needed him (See: @DET, Week 12). He is now a free agent, as the Bucs are welcoming Barth back with open arms.
Barth will now prepare his leg for the 2014 season in which he, and Bucs fans alike, hope will be a happy and healthy campaign.