Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire
San Francisco punter Andy Lee has continued to kick well despite a broken hand.
On the surface, a hand injury might not seem like much for a player who relies on his leg and foot, but as 49ers kicker David Akers pointed out, a punter's hands set up the entire kick.
"About 85 to 90 percent of your punt is your drop," Akers said, according to the Mercury News. "When you make all things equal with guys' legs, the consistency of the drop is (a huge difference)."
Lee has been wearing a brace on his hand, but is still forced to catch several snaps a game as San Francisco's punter and holder for field goals and extra points. The fact Lee continues to play through the injury is not lost on his teammates.
"To have a broken hand and know that it's going to hurt every time you catch the ball, and you still have to do your job, that's a testament to his mentality," 49ers cornerback Darcel McBath said.
While the injury has surely been a hindrance, it is yet to greatly affect Lee's performance. He's averaging 46.3 net yards per punt this season, above his career average of 45.8. He has also been excellent at downing punts inside the 20 this season with 53.3 percent of his punts finishing inside the 20. That is well above his previous season best of 40 percent.