Adam Vinatieri’s future remains an unknown. Indianapolis Colts coach Frank Reich said Tuesday during a digital news conference that the kicking legend has not yet made a decision about whether he’d like to return for a 25th NFL season.
Reich hasn’t spoken with the future hall-of-famer in the past couple of weeks, but before the Colts facility was shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he saw the 47-year-old there rehabbing his knee following season-ending surgery.
The team, Reich said, is waiting for him to get further along in the rehabilitation process before making a decision about his future.
“(We plan) to have a sitdown with Adam and see where he’s at once he’s a little further along in that process,” Reich said.
If the NFL’s all-time leading scorer wants to return, the Colts could have a tough decision to make. Vinatieri is a free agent, and the Colts already have a promising young kicker under contract in 23-year-old Chase McLaughlin.
The Texas native connected on five of six field goals while drilling all 11 of his extra points over a span of four games with Indianapolis. Added to his totals from brief stints with the Chargers and 49ers last season, McLaughlin finished the year 18-of-23 on field goals (83.3%) and 26-of-26 on extra points.
Vinatieri, meanwhile would be returning from the worst year of his professional career in 2019, missing 14 kicks — eight field goals and six extra points — before hitting injured reserve in Week 13 with an ailing knee.
Ahead of the combine, team owner Jim Irsay said they wouldn’t close the door on a Vinatieri return.
“I know he’s rehabbing that knee and it’s something that Chris (Ballard) and Frank will talk about and give their opinions to me,” Irsay said in late February. “As an as owner I occasionally step in, but I like to give my people room to make mistakes. Often times that’s how you learn. The best way to learn. It hurts, but you learn that way.
“But Adam knows how much I think of him. He’s unbelievable. … We’ll see. He’s in rehab mode now, and we’re in the middle of trying to put the team together.”
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