Carolina Panthers specialist Graham Gano got his kicks in Sunday’s 20-17 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs -- and then some.
Gano was pressed into punting duty after Andy Lee pulled the hamstring in his kicking leg warming up before his first punt.
“I hurt it actually in the net right before the first punt,” Lee said. “It was already hurt when I went out. I just tried to give it everything I had.”
Lee’s punt traveled 43 yards, and it was his last one of the day.
Gano, who punted at Florida State for three seasons, handled the rest of the punting for the first time since his second season at Washington in 2010 when he filled in for an injured Josh Bidwell.
In four punts against the Chiefs, Gano averaged 45 yards with a long of 54. But two touchbacks and a couple of low liners left him with a net of 29.8 yards.
Not bad considering Gano seldom punts at practice.
“I’ll hit one every now and again just because. I never practice (punts),” Gano said. “My job here is to kick off and kick field goals, so that’s what I focus on.”
Lee said Gano did well under the circumstances.
Meanwhile, Lee isn’t sure how long he’ll need to recover from what he said is his first pulled muscle in 14 seasons. With the Panthers playing New Orleans on Thursday during a short week, they might need to sign another punter.
“I don’t even know. It was new for me. It could be bad, it could be not bad,” Lee said. “I don’t know how it’s supposed to feel. I have no clue. All I know is I couldn’t punt.”