Jaguars sign P Royals to replace injured Hanson

Updated: October 10, 2003, 4:09 PM ET

JACKSONVILLE, Florida - Mark Royals will step in for injured Pro Bowl punter Chris Hanson, who injured his non-kicking leg while swinging an axe.

The Jacksonville Jaguars on Friday placed Hanson on the reserve-non-football injury list on Friday and signed Royals, a 15-year veteran who was released by the Miami Dolphins on September 29.

Hanson needed surgery to close up a gash on his right leg Thursday after he miscalibrated while using an axe to hack at the massive tree stump that Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio placed in the locker room a few weeks ago. Del Rio used the stump as a symbol for the mantra he has adopted for the Jaguars this season, "Keep chopping wood."

Hanson's leg will be in a boot for four to six weeks.

The 38-year-old Royals averaged just 40.2 yards in Miami's first three games. His average of 40.2 yards last season - his first with the Dolphins - was the worst of his career. He had 15 kicks inside the 20, six touchbacks and a long of 56.

Royals has the eighth-most punts in NFL history (1,071) and a career average of 42.2 and a net of 34.5

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index