Amid the efforts of the Pittsburgh Steelers to firm up the NFL team's opening roster comes yet another injury that posed a step backwards for the group that has been gunning to take home the Super Bowl title since 2008. The weekend saw an injury suffered by Pittsburgh Steelers veteran kicker Shaun Suisham during a match against the Minnesota Vikings. According to NFL reporter Conor Orr, the Pittsburgh Steelers kicker suffered from a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee. Due to this injury, Suisham is reported to be out for the entire 2015 NFL season.
With the latest setback incurred by the NFL team, kicker workouts were held by the Pittsburgh Steelers on Tuesday at Heinz Field. The NFL stars invited to participate are former Florida Bobcats free agent Jay Feely, ex-Philadelphia Eagles star Alex Henery and New Orleans Saints player Garrett Hartley. Evaluation of the free agents who took part in the NFL kicker workouts saw Hartley as the new kicker of the Pittsburgh Steelers, according to ESPN.
One of the possible reasons the Pittsburgh Steelers chose Hartley over Feely and Henery is his phenomenal performance in the match between the New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts in 2009, which proved to be instrumental to the Super Bowl stint of the former NFL team in January 2010. This achievement also recorded Hartley as the first kicker throughout the Super Bowl history to hit from more than 40 yards in the same game.
Apart from these, the free agent kicker boasts of an extensive professional football experience as the newly minted Pittsburgh Steelers player has played for seven seasons in the NFL with 81.7 percent field goal average. ESPN disclosed that the Pittsburgh Steelers and the NFL star agreed on a year-long contract. Apart from spending six NFL seasons with the New Orleans Saints, Hartley also experienced working alongside NFL stars in the Cleveland Browns roster.
To make room for Hartley's arrival in the Pittsburgh Steelers rosters, wide receiver Devin Gardner was transferred to the waived/injured list of the NFL team. While the Pittsburgh Steelers did not divulge details on the nature of the former Michigan player's injury, Gardner himself confirmed the news. Expressing his sentiments via social media, he reassured his fans and followers that his condition is all part and parcel of the whole NFL experience.
"Injuries are apart of the game!" the Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver wrote in his Instagram account. The NFL player added, "As an athlete I signed up knowing injuries are a possibility and I can find comfort in knowing who I am outside of a football player! It's been a blessing learning from and competing with the best I'll be back and in rare form in no time! Thanks to everyone for all the support and #SteelersNation! #NoRegrets #AndSoItBegins"