The Buffalo Bills are making another one of those calls to bring a familiar face back to One Bills Drive this week. With punter Sam Martin hampered by a hamstring injury, the Bills are bringing Matt Haack back.
Roster move ⬇️— Buffalo Bills PR (@BuffaloBillsPR) January 17, 2024
- Signed P Matt Haack to the practice squad
Sam Martin has been the Bills punter for two seasons, but during Monday’s Super Wild Card Weekend win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, the 33-year-old punter, who doubles as the team’s holder for field goals and PATs, injured a hamstring while chasing a loose ball after a blocked field goal attempt by kicker Tyler Bass.
#Bills Sam Martin Left Hamstring— Banged Up Bills (@BangedUpBills) January 15, 2024
Injured it trying to run down live ball on blocked FG.
This is his plant leg, not impossible to return, but isn’t going to make it any easier. Save him for holding.
Not sure who backup punter would be.#Bills pic.twitter.com/X5MQXmuLyJ
Despite being listed as questionable to return at half time, Martin did manage to get off a 45-yard punt in the third quarter. However, on Tuesday, head coach Sean McDermott listed the punter as among those he considered “day to day.” Obviously, the Bills are looking for some insurance at the punting position, so it makes sense to call someone familiar with the rest of the special teams unit.
The 29-year-old Haack handled both the punting and holding duties for Buffalo in 2021 and is familiar with both long snapper Reid Ferguson and kicker Tyler Bass. Haack averaged 42.9 yards per punt while in Buffalo — the lowest of his career, which started with the Miami Dolphins (2017-2020). After one season as a Bill, Haack lost his job during a training camp competition and ended up playing the 2022 season with the Indianapolis Colts. Haack spent the 2023 season at home until the Cleveland Browns called him in to handle punting duties in their Week 17 game against the New York Jets. In his one game of the season, the veteran punter had three punts, averaging 51.7 yards with a long of 56.
Haack’s signing would explain why Buffalo released veteran running back Leonard Fournette from their practice squad on Tuesday. Each NFL team can have up to six veterans on their practice squad. Buffalo was already at that limit and in order to bring Haack to One Bills Drive, they had to release a fellow veteran. With Ty Johnson back to full health, the Bills felt confident in releasing their running back insurance — at least for this week.