Jags' punter out for season after cutting leg with ax
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jaguars punter Chris Hanson will miss the rest of the season after gashing his leg with an ax while chopping a log in the locker room in what was supposed to be a motivational stunt.
Hanson was put on the reserve list for non-football injuries Friday.
Unlike players who are placed on injured reserve, those on the non-football list don't necessarily have to be paid by their teams. But the Jaguars said they will give Hanson his $375,000 salary.
Hanson, the team's only Pro Bowl player last season, needed emergency surgery to repair damage to his right, non-kicking leg. He could be ready to kick again before the end of the season, but the Jaguars decided they couldn't afford the roster spot, so they decided to end his season.
Jacksonville signed Mark Royals, formerly of the Dolphins, to punt and hold for kicks. Royals was cut by Miami last month.
The embarrassing injury turned Hanson and the Jaguars into national laughingstocks, a prime topic of conversation on radio shows and in Internet chat rooms. The log Hanson was working on was put in the locker room at the behest of coach Jack Del Rio, who used the mantra "keep chopping wood" to inspire his players when they got off to an 0-3 start.
"I'll find another slogan," Del Rio said. "The message was understood."
While the ax was removed shortly after the injury Thursday, the log remained in the locker room Friday.
Before the ax was removed, several players did, in fact, take Del Rio seriously and chop the wood. Hanson got hurt while the position players were in meetings Thursday morning.
Hanson, who will be in a boot for four to six weeks, had not returned to the team as of Friday.
"We enjoyed it while it lasted," tight end Kyle Brady said of having the ax in the locker room. "But obviously, something bad happened yesterday with it, so it had to go."
Royals had played in 211 straight games until the Dolphins released him two weeks ago. He averaged 40.2 yards a punt in the first three games.
"I was surprised when I got the call, especially the nature of the injury," Royals said. "You don't hear about that every day. I feel bad for Chris. I know him well. He's a great guy. He's had some unfortunate luck the last few years of his life."
In June 2002, Hanson, his wife and former Jaguars kicker Jaret Holmes were severely burned while they were making fondue at Hanson's house, and the fondue pot overturned.
Hanson didn't miss any playing time, however, because the accident happened in the offseason.
This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index
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