Lions lose key starter for Week One; cut running back

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NFL: Combine
Mar 1, 2017; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Detroit Lions general manager Bob Quinn speaks to the media during the 2017 NFL Combine at the Indiana Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

While the Detroit Lions were busy getting their 53-man roster complete to start the upcoming NFL season, Sam Martin, the fifth-year starting punter for the Lions, found out he will start the season on the non-football injury list. This is not exactly new information, as Martin has been injured since the end of July.

Martin has started every game of his blossoming career for the Lions, and with him on the sidelines, the signing of Kasey Redfern becomes all the more important. In case you don’t know who Redfern is, don’t worry you’re not alone. He came to the league in 2014, undrafted out of Wofford College and joined the Jacksonville Jaguars. The 25-year-old impressed in the summertime as both a punter as well as place-kicker. He continued to perform throughout the preseason with an average punt of 41.3 yards. As far as backup punters go, he seems capable of handling the load and has earned himself a spot on the Lions 53-man roster… Unlike Matt Asiata.

The former Vikings running back was released by the Lions after an underwhelming preseason that saw him log just 29 yards on 11 carries in the Lions final game against Buffalo.  Prior to that game, he had totals of just 37 yards on 16 carries in the first three preseason games. Asiata was part of a very crowded backfield and was never a lock for making the 53-man roster. At 30 years old, Asiata’s age puts him right on that question-marked line of whether he can continue to compete in the NFL or not.