Colts Place Adam Vinatieri On Injured Reserve

Colts Place Adam Vinatieri On Injured Reserve

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Colts Place Adam Vinatieri On Injured Reserve

On Monday afternoon, the Colts placed Adam Vinatieri on IR due to season-ending surgery. Will this end Vinny’s career in Indianapolis? Or the NFL?

Joe Robbins | Getty Images

INDIANAPOLIS – The greatest kicker in NFL history has played his final game in the 2019 season.

Is it also Adam Vinatieri’s final game with the Colts? Or perhaps his final in the NFL?

A nagging knee injury, on the left plant leg of Vinatieri, that has dated back to Training Camp is the reason for the move to injured reserve, which the Colts officially announced on Monday afternoon.

“Adam’s injury was monitored, talked about with the doctors and this is just the right thing to do for Adam," Frank Reich said on Monday.

“We knew he had the issue in the preseason. He missed a couple of weeks with the same knee. But then once we got going (in the regular season) he was never on the injury report. You know Adam, he’s a tough guy. Whatever pain he was dealing with, was him dealing with it, like every other player deals with pain. That was not uncommon. He wasn’t being irresponsible to the team. Everybody has aches and pains that you play through. He was performing out at practice. There was nothing physically that was limiting him. Then it flared up. Then you get another scan on this thing and you see that surgery is required." 

Vinny’s 2019 season, which should earn him first ballot induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, does end on a sour note.

He missed 14 of his 53 kicks this season (22-of-28 on extra points and 17-of-25 on field goals) and had become a big-time concern since the season opener. His misses directly contributed to several losses for the now 6-7 Colts.

It’s clear that the August injury to his left knee (his plant leg) has contributed to this rapid demise.

Even though Vinatieri never publicly stated his knee injury was hindering his performance, the visual evidence indicated something else.

“At some level, it had to affect him," Reich admitted on Monday. "There’s a lot of things that goes into everything, as we know. Early on there was a little bit of a struggle, then we felt like he got in a little bit of a groove, so there were times where it appeared that everything was right on track. But at the end of the day, I would guess it played a little bit of a factor.”

Just last week, the Colts finally put Vinny on the injury report, with the kicker practicing limited on Wednesday, before missing the final two days of practice. Vinatieri didn’t kick against the Buccaneers, marking the first time since the 2009 season that he hadn’t dressed for a game.

It now remains to be seen whether we’ve seen the last of Vinatieri in Indy, or even in the NFL.

He will turn 47 years old later this month, with the end of his 24th season coming to a close on Monday.

Vinatieri is also free agent in 2020.

“I haven’t had a long heart to heart with Adam yet, but it is my understanding that Adam’s mindset is that he’s not done. And that doesn’t surprise me," Reich said on Monday. "I love that. That guy inspires me. Adam is unique in that way and it’s one of the things that makes him the greatest of all time.”

If this is indeed the last of Vinatieri, this ending should in no way diminish the incredible career he has had with the Colts and Patriots.

With four Super Bowl rings, Vinatieri is the NFL’s all-time leader in scoring (2,673 points) and field goals made (599) and unquestionably one of the most clutch players in league history.


Some historical notes on Vinny’s career:

-Most points scored (2,673)

-Most field goals made (599)

-2nd most games played (365)

-Most career regular season wins (221)

-Most consecutive field goals made (44, a streak spanning 2015-16)

-29 career game-winning field goals

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