The Indianapolis Colts are hoping to convince kicker Adam Vinatieri not to retire, NBC’s Mike Florio reported Sunday evening, after the 46-year-old missed two more kicks in Sunday’s win over the Tennessee Titans.
“I’m told that is a safe assumption (that Vinatieri will retire), but the Colts aren’t ready to give up,” Florio said on Football Night in America. “They’re gonna try to talk him into staying. They expect to have an answer by tomorrow afternoon.”
Vinatieri — who missed a pair of extra points Sunday and has seven missed kicks in his last three games — didn’t take questions from reporters, saying “You’ll hear from me (Monday).” When reminded that reporters don’t see players on Mondays, Vinatieri replied, “Yeah, you will.”
That spurred speculation that the NFL’s all-time leading scorer plans to retire.
Former Colts teammate Pat McAfee tweeted on the subject, writing, “Folks thinkin Vinatieri’s retiring.. I sent a text, haven’t gotten a response yet but, I do know that the game’ll miss him if that’s the case.”
Vinatieri, who turns 47 in December, missed two field goals — including a 29-yarder — and an extra point in last week’s overtime loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. He also missed a 23-yard field goal and an extra point in the Colts’ divisional playoff loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in January.
Head coach Frank Reich said after the game he has “zero concern” about Vinatieri’s reliability.
“He hit the upright on the one,” Reich said. “You guys probably saw the first one. It was not a good operation. That snap and hold was not clean, the ball barely got on the ground. It was not clean.”
Owner Jim Irsay did not sound as assured.
“Breaks my heart to see it, because I know how hard he works,” Irsay said. “Of course it’s a concern. I can’t lie to you guys. Anyone would tell you it’s a concern. Adam, coach Reich, (general manager) Chris (Ballard), me. Yeah, I mean, in this league, it’s professional football. We all have to produce.”
The Colts hung on to win 19-17 after T.Y. Hilton’s go-ahead touchdown with 4:38 remaining, after which Vinatieri hit the right upright. The Titans did not reach field-goal range on their final two possessions, which kept the miss from factoring.
—Field Level Media