Jaguars move Hanson to injured reserve

Updated: October 17, 2003, 11:39 AM ET

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jaguars received permission from the NFL to shift Chris Hanson to injured reserve after the punter struck himself in the leg with an ax.

He had been on the nonfootball injury list and now will be able to become a free agent more quickly. By going on injured reserve, 2003 will count as an accrued season for Hanson, meaning he can become an unrestricted free agent in 2005. Without the change, he would have had to wait until 2006.

Hanson injured himself with an ax coach Jack Del Rio placed in the locker room to drive home his message, "Keep Chopping Wood." Hanson had surgery last week and the Jaguars decided they could not hold open a roster spot while he healed.

Hanson, the team's only Pro Bowl player last season, gashed his right, nonkicking, leg. He will miss the rest of the season.

The NFL decided that although the injury wasn't football related, Hanson shouldn't be penalized.

Teams aren't required to pay players on the nonfootball injury list, although the Jaguars said all along they would pay Hanson the rest of his $375,000 salary.

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