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Redskins Re-sign Smith to Replace Bidwell


The Redskins have signed free agent punter Hunter Smith, the team announced on Thursday.

Smith takes over at punter for Josh Bidwell, who was placed on injured reserve with a hip injury.

Smith is also expected to take over as holder on field goal attempts.

He worked out with two other punters last week and won the job this week after Bidwell's hip did not improve.

"With Hunter, it was his ability to hold and also Danny Smith was familiar with him," head coach Mike Shanahan said. "That was a big plus for him."

Smith played in 13 games for the Redskins in 2009, compiling 57 punts for a 41.3-yard average, with a net of 36.8. He pinned 23 punts inside the 20-yard line.

Smith was named NFL Special Teams Player Of the Week for his Week 10 performance against Denver. In that game, Smith tossed a 35-yard touchdown pass to Mike Sellers on a fake field goal.

Prior to joining the Redskins in 2009, Smith spent 10 seasons with Indianapolis Colts, playing in 160 consecutive regular season games and 15 postseason contests.

For his career, Smith has punted 634 times, averaging 43.2 yards per punt, with a net of 35.6.

He was drafted by the Colts out of Notre Dame in the seventh round of the 1999 NFL Draft. He is a native of Sherman, Tex.

Bidwell re-aggravated a hip injury prior to the Redskins' Week 3 game at St. Louis. He was able to return last Sunday vs. Philadelphia, where he had five punts for a 37.2-yard average.

"He tried to come back from that hip injury and it was too painful," Shanahan said. "You could tell by his facial expression that something was wrong. His production [in the Eagles game] was down. It was a combination of things."

In four games this year, Bidwell logged 15 punts for a 41.7-yard average, with a net of 37.7, and three punts placed inside the 20-yard line.

Bidwell is an 11-year NFL veteran who has had stints with the Green Bay Packers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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