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Dustin Hopkins 'ready for the challenge'


K Dustin Hopkins participated in his first practice with the Browns on Wednesday after being acquired from the Chargers earlier this week.

Hopkins, 32, was surprised about the trade because he didn't know that it is possible the Browns would want him with K Cade York being on the roster. York was eventually waived after Hopkins was signed.

"I had an honest conversation with Tom (Telesco), and I asked him if he saw me in the Chargers' future or are you guys going with Cam (Cameron Dicker)," Hopkins said. "And he was honest with me, told me, which was awesome because he just let me know that for family planning purposes."

Hopkins entered the league in 2013 when the Buffalo Bills selected him as a sixth-round pick out of Florida State.

Unfortunately, Hopkins never saw the field with Bills after suffering a groin injury in his first season and then losing a competition for the starting job in 2014. He joined the Saints late in 2014 but never kicked there, either, as he fell short in a 2015 training camp competition.

Check out photos of the team working to prepare for their first regular season game next week at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus

From there, Hopkins found a home with Washington, joining the team one game into the 2015 season and remaining its go-to kicker all the way until midway through the 2021 season. 

Hopkins demonstrated unwavering perseverance and an unbreakable faith that has carried him through nine NFL seasons. His 10th will kick off in Cleveland.

"I believe in the providence of God and I think that there are no accidents," Hopkins said. "If I never played again, I've got a lot of things to be thankful for, but I stand here X amount of years later and just thankful to still be playing the game. It's tough, but it's awesome being part of a team." 

The veteran kicker will wear No. 7 and is delighted to be in Cleveland, which he described as a notorious place for kickers because of how the wind blows off Lake Erie.

"I'm excited just to get the opportunity to practice in Cleveland Browns Stadium tomorrow," Hopkins said. "I don't know the ins and outs of what wind typically does in there or when it seems like it's going to move the ball and it doesn't. So I've got a lot to learn in that stadium, but I'm up for the challenge."

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