Panthers Punter Andy Lee to IR, Michael Palardy Signed

The Carolina Panthers will be without their veteran punter Andy Lee for the rest of the season and will bring in Michael Palardy to try to replace him.

The Carolina Panthers suffered a major special teams blow on Monday when the team officially placed punter Andy Lee on injured reserve with a hamstring injury and signed Michael Palardy.

Lee was injured during last Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs after just one punt when he was warming up on the sideline. His mid-game injury forced Panthers kicker Graham Gano into emergency punting duties having to do so four times.

Nov 6, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Carolina Panthers kicker Graham Gano (9) reacts after kicking a field goal against the Los Angeles Rams with Panthers punter Andy Lee (8) during the second half of a NFL football game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Nov 6, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Carolina Panthers kicker Graham Gano (9) reacts after kicking a field goal against the Los Angeles Rams with Panthers punter Andy Lee (8) during the second half of a NFL football game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Lee was acquired just days prior to the start of the regular season in a trade with the Cleveland Browns. The Panthers traded punter Kasey Redfern and a fourth round pick in 2017 in exchange for Lee who was having a tremendous season.

He was ranked fourth in the league in gross punting average with 49.1 and was tied for seventh with 18 punts landing inside the 20-yard line – exactly half of his total punts on the year. Lee also set a Carolina franchise record in his first game with the team when he netted a 63-yard average and booted one punt 76 yards.

To replace Lee, the Panthers signed Palardy who was with the teamduringthe offseason as part of the team’s carousel of punters.

Palardy played college ball at Tennesse where he was the punter from 2010-2013. During his senior season he had a gross average of 44.5 yards per punt and was tied for first in the FBS for punts inside the 20-yard line with 33 – over half of his 63 total punts. He was also a semifinalist for the 2013 Ray Guy award given to the nations top punter.

Since being waived from Carolina, Palardy has spent time with the Browns and the Atlanta Falcons and will not try to pick up where Lee left off in Carolina.

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