Former Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee nearly came out of retirement this off-season. No, that’s not a joke. Despite success with his online show, the 32 year-old had an itch to return to the NFL. He began posting videos of himself kicking early this off-season, which lead to speculation that a return attempt was imminent.
I also learned from the for 8 years.. I’d kick fgs weekly on Vinatieri’s offdays. The new kicking consultant for the Bears has been my ball kicking coach for 11 years or so..he & Chuck have got to watch me kick for a long time. I would’ve had to earn my spot..but I was excited— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) August 11, 2019
McAfee worked out with the Chicago Bears to be signed as a place kicker. It’s worth noting that he never tried a field goal in the regular season with the Colts. He was however, considered one of the league’s best punters - and was voted first team All-Pro in 2014.
The two time Pro Bowl selection told the “Dan Patrick Show”
“I was going to go kick field goals for the Bears. That would’ve been a pretty cool story,”
“They were obviously looking for a kicker after the situation last year with Cody Parkey, who’s a great kicker,” McAfee said. “If he hits the ball just an inch to the right, none of this happens.”
”All the stars seemed to be aligning for a potential comeback for me to kick field goals. I went through an entire stress test with their kicking coach. The ball was flying well. I think I was going to be the first guy in the history of the league that both punted and kicked successfully in the NFL.”
For our brand: Pat McAfee, who considered a return to the NFL, will contribute to ESPN this season as a color analyst on Thursday night college football primetime games, as well as make regular appearances on Get Up. McAfee and Matt Hasselbeck are teammates again on Thursdays.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 29, 2019
Unfortunately for McAfee, his body could not withstand the physicality of the game he loves.
“I got on a plane and my old-ass knee just started to swell up and I couldn’t even get to the bathroom.
”My knee was literally talking to me, like, ‘Hey, man, we’re not doing this again. Let’s just talk into microphones, enjoy our lives, have some vitamins. We’re not getting back into the rigors of kicking footballs again.’ I was ready to do it again, full focus.
The news of his knee pain is sad, but he’s mentioned it before. Shortly after retiring McAfee cited the wear and tear of the game being a reason why he had to call it quits:
“Staring down my third knee surgery in four years with more surgeries certain in the future, it was definitely a part of it.” McAfee said in 2017.
It would have been intriguing to see if McAfee could’ve successfully pulled off a comeback at a different position. That being said, the reunion with his former coach Chuck Pagano will not be happening. Listening to his show appears to be the only way fans will get their McAfee fix.