Steelers Lose Kicker Shaun Suisham to Torn ACL
No one ever likes to see injuries in the NFL. You especially hate to see them when they happen in games that don’t matter. The Pittsburgh Steelers feared the worst when star kicker Shaun Suisham suffered a knee injury while trying to make a tackle during the league’s annual Hall of Fame game.
#Steelers K Shaun Suisham has told people the belief is he tore his ACL. He’s having an MRI today to be sure. Will be a tough loss.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 10, 2015
Per reports, those initial fears turned into a harsh reality on Monday afternoon, when Shaun Suisham and the team learned that the kicker indeed suffered a torn ACL.
It’s a relatively big blow as far as kickers go, as Suisham had a growing reputation as one of the more “automatic” kickers in the game.
Suisham had successfully converted over 90% of his field goal tries in each of the last three seasons, as he showed remarkable growth ever since a shaky 2011 season that saw him connect on just 74.2% of his attempts.
The news is even worse considering the league’s changes with extra points, as all point after touchdown tries will now be pushed back to the 15-yard line, effectively making a field goal try that was once roughly 19 yards, now a 32-yard try. With a new kicker now expected to take over for the injured Suisham, the Steelers at best have to deal with change at the position and at worst could now open the door to severe inconsistency out of their special teams unit.
While the Shaun Suisham injury looks bad on the surface, the kicker should make a full recovery for the 2016 NFL season and replacing him in the interim isn’t the most difficult task the Steelers could be tasked with.
There are still several quality legs looking for work on the open market, a line that includes solid kickers like Shayne Graham, Garrett Hartley, Rian Lindell, Billy Cundiff and Jay Feely. It’s open for debate which kicker would be the best addition for the Steelers, but whoever it ends up being will have to be ready to operate out of an offense that plans on putting plenty of points on the board in 2015. Of course, without a reliable kicker, the Steelers may not be necessarily a guarantee to do that again after a successful 2014 run.
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