Steelers Kicker Shaun Suisham Out For Season With Torn ACL
With just one preseason game in the books for 2015, the NFL has already got its first in-game casualty of the season. During the second-half kickoff against the Minnesota Vikings in the annual Hall of Fame kickoff, Pittsburgh Steelers’ kicker Shaun Suisham suffered what was initially classified as a “potentially serious knee injury.”
On Monday it was announced that Suisham had suffered a torn ACL in his left knee, which is his plant leg, requiring season-ending surgery. It was a particularly tough blow for the Steelers, who struggled to find stability at the position prior to bringing him in to replace the notoriously erratic Jeff Reed in November 2010.
The most accurate field-goal kicker in franchise history, last August Suisham signed a long-term extension that would keep him in Pittsburgh through the 2018 season. Of the $9.6 million contract, just under $3 million is guaranteed. Should they decide to cut him, the Steelers will be on the hook for $570,000 in each of the next three years—that’s in addition to the $1.07 million they’ll pay out this season.
It’s not yet known what the future holds for Suisham in Pittsburgh, but it’s fair to say that there must be some level of frustration that he sustained the injury on a completely unnecessary tackle. Unnecessary in that it didn’t impact the play positively and, even if it had, it was a meaningless preseason game.
When asked after the game whether or not his kicker needed to stop playing so aggressive outside his own position, Steelers’ coach Mike Tomlin said, “I hadn’t talked to him, so I’m not going to speculate.”
Although it’s a tough break for Pittsburgh, better to lose Suisham now than a month from now. At least they have nearly a month to find a replacement. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Steelers are expected to consider veterans Billy Cundiff, Shayne Graham, Jay Feely, Garrett Hartley and Alex Henery.
One person they won’t be considering is Jeff Reed, who was actually in attendance at the HOF game. True to form, the ever-intoxicated Reed was ejected from the stadium in Canton after a drunken confrontation with another fan.