The Pittsburgh Steelers may have thought they were taking all the necessary precautions when resting the majority of their starter's for last night's Hall of Fame game against the Minnesota Vikings.
But, after seeing kicker Shaun Suisham leave the game with a knee injury, the franchise's worst fears have been confirmed today.
As reported the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Suisham has suffered a torn ACL and will miss the entire 2015 NFL season.
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ESPN's Adam Schefter relayed the news, and the significance of Suisham's absence:
The injury itself occurred as the second half got under way in Canton on Sunday evening and as Suisham is now set to undergo surgery on his left knee in the coming days - cartilage damage adding to a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
Pittsburgh, meanwhile, must now search for a new kicker to replace a man who has converted 59 of 64 field goals in the past two campaigns.
In 2014 the 10-year veteran ranked tied eighth overall in kicker rankings with only Stephen Gostkowski having a better field goal percentage.
Jay Feely, Shayne Graham and Billy Cundiff have all already been mentioned as potential recruits for Mike Tomlin's team.
And with games set to come thick and fast now that pre-season is under way the Steelers likely won't hang around before making a move.
The Pittsburgh Steelers' home, Heinz Field, doesn't exactly afford kickers an easy ride so this loss could well prove a major issue for the franchise as they prepare for the new campaign.
Steelers fans: Will your team be good enough to make a run at the Super Bowl in 2015? Have your say in the comments below...
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