Suisham’s knee ‘not there yet,’ hopes for training camp return
Chris Boswell is looking forward to the impending roster battle with Shaun Suisham for the Steelers’ placekicking job during training camp.
At this point, it might not be much of a fight because Suisham might not even show.
Suisham on Tuesday said he has yet to recover from a torn ACL of his left knee he suffered during the Hall of Fame Game 10 months ago. He has yet to attempt a kick.
Suisham isn’t sure if he will be ready for training camp at the end of July. He hasn’t participated at all during the past three weeks of organized team activities other than an occasional view from the sidelines.
“Any sort of a battle is not an issue with me right now because I am not healthy,” Suisham said. “I will continue to work to get there, but I don’t know when that will be. I don’t have a time frame. Hopefully, it is for training camp.”
It might be too late for the veteran Suisham by then.
Plenty is stacked against him even if he does get healthy by training camp.
Boswell showed he can handle the job in Suisham’s absence a year ago; he’s younger; and he’s much cheaper.
Suisham signed a four-year, $12.5 million extension in 2014, making him one of the top 10 highest-paid kickers. The Steelers would save $2.4 million by releasing Suisham or the entire $3.5 million salary cap hit scheduled for 2016 if they can trade him. Boswell makes the NFL minimum $525,000.
Suisham, who also has kicked for Dallas and Washington, is prepared if he has to move on from the Steelers.
“The reality of sports is that there is a continuous carousel of players in organizations, and that will never change,” Suisham said. “That’s OK, because that’s what makes it so competitive.”
Not knowing when he will be healthy enough to kick has been difficult for Suisham. He said he has yet to find a kicker with a plant-leg ACL repair to be able to get a suitable recovery timeline.
“All I can do is go through the rehab process right now and try to get healthy enough to kick and have no problems,” Suisham said. “I need to feel like I felt before I was injured. I wish I was healthy right now, and I am not there yet.”
Mark Kaboly is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @MarkKaboly_Trib.