In the NFL, preseason stats matter only so much in the historical record. Nobody remembers who led the 2018 preseason in passing yards, who had the longest run in 2015, who holds the career record for interceptions. The best players don’t play long enough to set those marks. The ones who do have bigger worries, like making a 53-man roster.

But when the Ravens look back at their preseason-opening 29-0 win Thursday night over the visiting Jacksonville Jaguars, kicker Kaare Vedvik’s performance could be remembered for its would-be place in football history — and how it might have redirected his NFL trajectory.


After coming on for Justin Tucker late in the first quarter, Vedvik nailed field goals from 55, 45, 26 and 29 yards. He was 2-for-2 on extra-point attempts. He hit his first punt 53 yards and his second 58 yards. After an up-and-down two weeks of training camp, Vedvik left M&T Bank Stadium with a flawless stat line.

The hope in Baltimore is that two or three more performances like Thursday’s will fetch a nice return for Vedvik on the trade market. Few kickers have a leg like the Norwegian’s. According to Pro Football Reference records, which date to 1950, no player in a regular-season or playoff game has ever done what Vedvik accomplished with seeming ease: four field goals and over 50 yards per punt. Only five players have ever kicked two field goals and averaged over 50 yards per punt in one game, and none since 1973.

“So happy for him,” coach John Harbaugh said. “Not surprised. I mean, he's so confident. He was really confident before the game when I talked to him. He believed he was going to make 'em all. And he did, so hats off to him.”

Vedvik’s comeback has been long awaited, both in Owings Mills and around the league. As an undrafted free agent last year, Vedvik made eight of nine field-goal attempts. But because the Ravens had Tucker, the NFL’s most accurate kicker ever, they were willing to part with their hidden gem.

Before a deal could be struck, likely for a late-round draft pick, Vedvik was assaulted in East Baltimore. He landed in the hospital and on the reserve nonfootball injury list, ending his season.

“It’s been a long year building up to come back to this moment again,” Vedvik said. “I love football, I love sports, and my entire life I’ve always been involved in sports. Getting back on the field, man, it’s just a different feeling.”

Vedvik said he kept a journal during his time away from football, jotting down thoughts and goals. He’d journaled before, but with more time to himself as a pro, he returned to the pages again and again.

The comfort he found there, and the support he received from his host family and Ravens players and coaches, helped “get me back to where I belong.” On Thursday, that looked like an NFL roster.

“What happened, happened,” he said. “As a person, I’ve got to grow from it, I’ve got to learn from it, and hopefully become a better person from it. Take your lessons, man. You want to have a smart head on your shoulder and keep the people close to you, close to you. People in the Ravens care a lot about me, and my family cares a lot about me. My friends care a lot about me. So just keep tight with them.”

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