The Detroit Lions may be looking for a punter on the waiver wire this week. A few beat reporters noted after the Lions’ 34-22 loss to the Chicago Bears, Lions punter Sam Martin was leaving Soldier Field in an ambulance:
Lions punter Sam Martin just went into an ambulance and left Soldier Field. Not sure what’s going on there— Michael Rothstein (@mikerothstein) November 11, 2018
Sam Martin just limped into an ambulance outside the Lions’ locker room.— Chris Burke (@ChrisBurkeNFL) November 11, 2018
It’s not exactly clear when Martin suffered the injury, but Sunday wasn’t a great performance for him. He averaged just 39.0 yards per punt and pinned kicks inside the 20-yard line just once.
He also shanked his final punt of the day, kicking it just 37 yards before it was downed at midfield.
Last year, Martin suffered an injury during the offseason, causing him to miss the first six games of the season. Ever since that injury, Martin just hasn’t looked the same. Prior to the 2017 injury, Martin was averaging 46.9 yards per punt. Since that injury, he’s averaging just 44.2.
During training camp, the Lions had punter Ryan Santoso on the roster. If Martin’s injury is as serious as an ambulance ride suggests, Santoso, an undrafted rookie, may be back on the team soon.
UPDATE: The Lions have confirmed that Martin went to the hospital, but he will be returning to Detroit with the team.