49ers Kicker Chase McLaughlin Shanks Potential Game-Winning Kick Into Tunnel

Monday night, the San Francisco 49ers and kicker Chase McLaughlin lined up in overtime with the opportunity to secure a ninth victory and maintain an undefeated record. The undrafted rookie shanked his kick to the left, giving the Seattle Seahawks life yet again. What the cameras didn't show, however, is that the football went so far left that it actually landed in the tunnels leading to the locker room.

According to other footage provided on social media, McLaughlin's kick was clearly launched into the tunnels where multiple individuals gathered. Some even had to duck out of the way to avoid being hit by the errant ball.

Following this miss, quarterback Russell Wilson led the Seahawks down the field and set up Jason Myers for a game-winning kick of his own. The Seattle specialist successfully converted a 42-yarder to complete the upset.

McLaughlin was only in the starting lineup due to veteran Robbie Gould being forced to miss Monday's game with a right quadriceps strain. He sustained the injury during Thursday's practice and could not recover in time for the NFC West battle with the Seattle Seahawks.

Originally an undrafted free agent signee of the Buffalo Bills, McLaughlin was cut prior to the season. He landed on the Minnesota Vikings' practice squad and later joined the Los Angeles Chargers in October.

As a member of the Chargers, McLaughlin appeared in four games and converted on six of nine field-goal attempts. He was also successful on all seven of his extra-point attempts. McLaughlin was waived when Michael Badgley was cleared to return to the Bolts.

While the ESPN announcer Joe Tessitore did say that the moment was "too big" for the rookie in McLaughlin, this opinion was met with some skepticism. Prior to his miss in overtime, the rookie had converted on a 47-yard field goal with seconds remaining in regulation. This tied the game and forced overtime.

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With McLaughlin missing the game-winning kick in such a manner, it's likely that his time with the 49ers will soon be coming to an end. If Gould is healthy prior to Sunday's battle with the Arizona Cardinals, he will be back in the lineup and ready to perform. McLaughlin, on the other hand, will be looking for another opportunity to prove that he belongs in the NFL.

Photo Credit: Lachlan Cunningham/Getty

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