New York Jets add Thomas Morstead while Braden Mann sits out
Per Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, the New York Jets are signing punter Thomas Morestead to serve as their punter in the absence of the injured Braden Mann. Jets head coach Robert Saleh recently revealed that Mann was diagnosed with a knee sprain that will keep him out 4-6 weeks at a minimum.
Morestead, 35, recently wrapped a 12-year term as the New Orleans Saints’ punter, where he won a Super Bowl in 2010 and reached a Pro Bowl after the 2012 season. He has also earned All-Pro nominations in 2012, 2013, 2017, and 2018.
During his time in the Big Easy, Morestead averaged 46.5 yards per attempt. That tally is good for fourth amongst active punters, behind only Johnny Hekker, Tress Way, and Andy Lee.
Only one of Morestead’s 692 attempts was blocked. He also served as the Saints’ holder and even spent several seasons as their primary kickoff man, though he has not held that role since 2015.
The Southern Methodist alum averaged 43.1 yards per kick last season, a career-low. Notably, he placed five kicks inside the opponent’s 20-yard-line during New Orleans’ opening week victory over Tampa Bay to open the 2020 campaign.
Despite the drop in his distance average, Morstead still had an effective season overall. He led all qualified punters in fair catch rate at 46.8 percent.
1st in fair catch rate (46.8%)
5th in lowest return rate allowed (32.3%)
7th in hang time (4.44 seconds)
13th in net punting (41.6 yards) https://t.co/OqQEFCIf7f
— Michael Nania (@Michael_Nania) September 14, 2021
The injured Mann was in the midst of his second season in New York after joining the Jets as a sixth-round pick out of Texas A&M in 2020. He was injured in his second attempt of last Sunday’s 19-14 loss at the hands of the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte. Kicker Matt Ammendola took over the punting duties while Mann made several trips in and out of the medical tent and was later seen adorned in a knee brace on his left leg.
Ammendola, the Jets’ designated kicker, filled in admirably after Mann’s departure, averaging 48.5 yards per attempt, including a 65-yard try on his second kick that was the longest in the NFL amongst all Sunday competitors.
The Jets return to action on Sunday afternoon for their home opener against the New England Patriots (1 p.m. ET, CBS).
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags
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