Panthers sign kicker Zane Gonzalez off the Lions’ practice squad

By Jeff Risdon

The Detroit Lions aren’t the only team with some uneasiness at kicker. The Carolina Panthers opted to poach Zane Gonzalez off the Detroit practice squad and signed the veteran to their active 53-man roster on Tuesday.

Gonzalez was brought into Detroit during training camp after Matthew Wright fizzled in his audition to replace Matt Prater. Gonzalez never got ahead of Randy Bullock on the Lions’ depth chart, however. He was signed to the practice squad after being one of the final cuts. Detroit also dumped Bullock and opted instead to claim Austin Seibert off waivers.

Seibert missed his first field goal attempt with the Lions in the Week 1 loss to the 49ers, but was fine after that.

Gonzalez heads to Carolina to replace Ryan Santoso, who was once an aspiring punter for the Lions in training camps past. Santoso missed an extra point in Carolina’s opening win over the Jets, making two short field goals.

The Lions used their practice squad protection on Gonzalez for Week 1, preventing any other teams from signing him away. However, there is a window between the end of the prior week and when practice squad players (up to four per team) can be protected, and the Panthers struck in that window.


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