IRVING, Texas – Mat McBriar is punting again.
McBriar, a free agent, had surgery in February to remove a cyst below his left knee that ultimately led to the Cowboys placing him on injured reserve last season. In the last month he has noticed the nerves re-firing, which has allowed him to move his foot.
“Rusty,” McBriar said of his first day punting, “but no issue with the foot really. It’s just getting back in the swing of things.”
McBriar missed two games in 2011 but was bothered by what was originally diagnosed as drop foot for most of the season. He averaged 43.8 yards per punt and had a 36.1-yard net average, which was his lowest since his rookie season.
“Every couple of weeks it seems to be getting better, which is great,” McBriar said, “but there’s still a little ways to go.”
The Cowboys have two punters on the roster currently in Chris Jones, who punted in two games in 2011, and Delbert Alvarado. They are keeping tabs on McBriar’s rehab.
When healthy, McBriar is one of the NFL’s best punters and can alter field position either with his strong leg or his flip-flop punts. From 2007-10 his net average went up every year, topping out at 41.7 yards in 2010, which earned him his second Pro Bowl bid.