Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press confirmed what the Detroit Lions had feared with punter Kasey Redfern. The hard hit he took against the Arizona Cardinals resulted in a torn ACL and MCL among other injuries:
Some Lions punter news: Kasey Redfern suffered a torn ACL & MCL & partial tear of patellar tendon. Tough break for a guy everyone rooted for— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) September 11, 2017
At this point, it’s only a formality for the Lions to place him on injured reserve, ending his 2017 season with the team.
With Sam Martin on the NFI list for at least another six weeks, Detroit isn’t wasting any time in getting Redfern’s replacement on the roster. According to Birkett, the Lions are working out four punters on Monday:
The Lions are working out punters today. Among those in: Matt Darr, Drew Butler, Jeff Locke and Richie Leone.— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) September 11, 2017
We profiled Jeff Locke and Matt Darr earlier in the day in our “4 free agent punters options” article.
Drew Butler is a veteran punter most recently from the Arizona Cardinals. In his four year career, Butler is averaging 42.9 yards per punt with a 37.2 net average. He’s pinned 92 punts inside the 20, while ceding 17 touchbacks.
Butler actually spent a month on the Lions roster back in 2014. He was added right before training camp to give Sam Martin competition (and ultimately, rest). That was this coaching staff’s first year, so there’s a little familiarity there.
Richie Leone is an interesting candidate for the Lions. After failing to make the Ravens in his rookie year, Leone moved over to the CFL for three seasons. In 2015 and 2016, Leone made the CFL All-Star game as a punter, averaging 49.5 and 49.3 yards per punt in each respective season. He was also the placekicker for the B.C. Lions. Although, he only made 72.7 percent of field goals over two years.
His play in the CFL earned himself a tryout with the Cardinals this offseason. He averaged 45.3 yards on 12 punts this preseason (41.8 net).
The Lions probably want to get a deal done quickly, so expect to hear of a signing in the next 24 hours.