Steelers punter Sepulveda out for season with knee injury

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Steelers punter Daniel Sepulveda is out for the season with a torn ACL in his right knee.

The Steelers claimed punter Paul Ernster off waivers from the Detroit Lions to replace Sepulveda, who will go on injured reserve. Ernster played for the Browns last year, facing the Steelers in the opener.

"He's a veteran guy who's been in the league," Kevin Colbert, director of football operations, said of Ernster.

Sepulveda, who kicks with his left foot, had surgery to repair a torn ACL in April before his final season at Baylor. He punted that season and said today that he's not sure if rushing his return then might have lead to the re-injury now.

He said his knee didn't feel right during warm up Monday. An MRI showed a tear. He will have surgery soon.

Sepulveda, drafted out of Baylor in the fourth round last year, had a good rookie season with the Steelers and they were counting on him getting better this year.

He averaged 42.4 yards a punt last year, with 28 of his 68 punts landing inside the 20-yard line.

The Steelers traded draft picks in the fourth and sixth rounds to move higher in the fourth round in order to draft Sepulveda.

The Steelers did not have another true punter in camp. Julian Rauch, an undrafted rookie from Appalachian State, is on the roster. He is listed as a kicker but also can punt and was handling the punting chores at training camp this afternoon.


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