NFL careers rarely go the way players or fans expect or want them to. The times when a player gets to go out with a Super Bowl win like Peyton Manning are few and far between. Far more often, they are ended by a decline, an injury, or perhaps even simply not being re-signed. The Colts have watched some truly great players leave their halls, and it looks as if they’ll do so once again.
Adam Vinatieri will undergo knee surgery that will end his season, and almost certainly, his career.
Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri will undergo season-ending knee surgery and will be placed on injured reserve, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 9, 2019
This was a frustrating season for Vinatieri. The signs of age were clearer than they have ever been for him. At 46 years old, that is hardly surprising, but Adam Vinatieri was always a consummate professional, and seemingly an iron man who just kept going and was as reliable as the sunrise.
There were signs late in the 2018 season that Vinatieri might be nearing his end, when he missed a field goal and an extra point on the road against the Chiefs. 2019 saw his numbers plummet, finishing this season having kicked 68.0% of his field goals in, and just 78.6% of extra points through.
For a team that struggled and toiled in 1-score games, this was simply not good enough. The Colts stood by Vinatieri and suffered the consequences, losing games they ought to have won. Vinatieri will now head to injured reserve, and presumably announce his retirement sometime in the coming days or weeks.
Despite the struggles of this season, it should not be lost on Colts fans or the NFL at large, just how good Vinatieri has been over his long career, or how great a role he has played in making the Colts a perennial winner. He is a future Hall of Famer, and a Colts great. We have been lucky to get to watch him, and now it is time to usher in the new era.