The Steelers lost their first preseason game of the year. In addition to the 14-3 loss to the Minnesota Vikings, the Steelers also lost their most accurate kicker on field goals in their franchise history.
Ed Bouchette of the PPG reported on Monday afternoon that the 10-year veteran kicker will undergo surgery on his left knee to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament and cartilage damage stemming from an injury he suffered in the Hall of Fame game on Sunday night.
The Steelers are expected to place Suisham on injured reserve, ending his season. Suisham converted 59 of 64 field goals over the past two seasons putting points on the board for the Steelers when the offense fizzles out in the red zone as they have had issues with the past several seasons.
This puts the team in a position to look for a replacement kicker two weeks into training camp. The Steelers only had Suisham on the roster as their only kicker and had basically no backup plan in place for this particular scenario.
Among the kickers available for the Steelers to try out this week are Billy Cundiff, Shayne Graham and Jay Feely. The downside to signing a veteran kicker is that it could leave the Steelers also in need of a kickoff man. The veteran kickers are only interested in kicking field goals instead of kickoffs.
Steelers punter, Brad Wing, isn’t able to handle kickoff duties should the Steelers sign a veteran kicker that can only handle PATs and field goal attempts.
I realize that it would be difficult to foresee an injury to Suisham this early in preseason but the Steelers’ coaching staff should have taken the time to reevaluate the roster a bit more before going up against Minnesota. Why carry five quarterbacks on the roster (if you count Gradkowski who is still on the PUP list) and only one kicker?
The Steelers might just be taking advantage of the new PAT attempt rule and going for two a whole lot more considering the position they’re in now.
What do you think of the loss of Shaun Suisham for the season?
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