The Lions will deploy a third punter this season, but this one is at least their preferred option. Sam Martin will return to his post as Detroit’s punter on Sunday night after the Lions activated him from the non-football injury list Saturday, Kyle Meinke of MLive.com reports.
To make room for Martin’s roster return, the Lions cut defensive end Jacquies Smith. The Lions signed Smith last week after the Buccaneers waived him earlier this month.
Martin will make his season debut after residing on Detroit’s NFI list since the preseason concluded. The fifth-year punter dealt with a foot injury sustained away from the team, but the Lions have not disclosed how it occurred. Detroit cut veteran punter Jeff Locke earlier this week. Locke held down the fort for the Lions, who lost previous Martin replacement Kasey Redfern to a season-ending injury suffered during Week 1.
The 27-year-old Martin, though, is coming off a season where he posted the second-best net punting average (44.2 yards) in league history. The one-time fifth-round pick — and recipient of a Lions extension in 2016 — played in 64 regular-season games from 2013-16 prior to suffering this summer setback.
Signed during the Lions’ bye week, Smith did not play in any games for the team. A two-year Tampa Bay starter, Smith suited up for one Bucs contest prior to being waived this season. The fourth-year player will head back onto the waiver wire.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.