Allen Park — The Detroit Lions have found their replacement punter, signing former Minnesota Vikings draft pick Jeff Locke on Tuesday.
The team also announced the signing of tackle Emmett Cleary, while placing punter Kasey Refern and Corey Robinson on injured reserve.
In four seasons with the Vikings, the left-footed Locke averaged 43.2 yards per boot. His 42.6-yard average in 2016 ranked 31st in the NFL. He was signed by the Indianapolis Colts this offseason, but was beat out by rookie Rigoberto Sanchez for the job.
Locke was selected 10 picks ahead of Lions punter Sam Martin in the 2013 draft. The latter is on the non-football injury list after suffering an ankle injury between the team’s mandatory minicamp in June and the start of training camp in late July.
Locke replaces Redfern, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in the season opener.
Cleary, undrafted out of Boston College in 2013, spent last season with the Dallas Cowboys, appearing in 13 games and starting one, against the Lions. Previously, he was on practice squads in Tampa Bay, Cincinnati and New York (Giants).
Robinson heads to injured reserve with the foot injury that kept him out all training camp.
Robinson's injury leaves the Lions with two backup offensive tackles — Cleary and Brian Mihalik — who joined the team after the preseason.