Allen Park — In an anticipated procedural move, the Lions added punter Sam Martin to the active roster Saturday afternoon, releasing defensive end Jacquies Smith to clear the spot.
Marin, who started the season on the non-football injury list with an ankle injury, returned to practice last week. Sunday night’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers is the first week he was eligible to return.
Martin is coming off a season where he posted a 44.2 net punting average, the second-best mark since the NFL began tracking the stat in 1976. With Martin out, the Lions used three punters, including kicker Matt Prater as an injury fill-in. The group averaged 41.5 net yards.
Smith, the former Tampa Bay Buccaneers edge rusher, signed with the Lions just before the bye. His departure leaves the team with four defensive ends.