Indianapolis Colts punter Rigoberto Sanchez announced via his personal Instagram page that he has a cancerous tumor and will be undergoing surgery on Tuesday to remove it:
Sanchez unusually did not handle the Colts’ kickoffs during Sunday’s loss against the Tennessee Titans as he typically does—which raised some eyebrows among Colts media members.
When asked about it during his post-game press conference, Colts head coach Frank Reich described it as a ‘physical issue that needed further evaluation’—but Sanchez hadn’t been formally listed on this past week’s team injury report at all.
The Colts 4-year punter has averaged 47.2 yards per punt and a NET average of 40.6 yards per punt this season respectively, as well as has pinned 15 total punts within the opposing team’s 20-yard line. His 48.4% of his total punts placed within the 20-yard line is the 6th highest mark among all of the league’s punters during the 2020 season.
The Colts will need to seek a fill-in replacement in the short-term.
Of course, this is so much bigger than football right now, as this is a young man’s life we’re potentially dealing with. It’s a very challenging (and scary) situation for Sanchez—who was fortunate that medical providers were able to catch it before it possibly spread further.
Sanchez should be considered out indefinitely for the Colts, but most importantly, we’re definitely thinking of him and his friends/family during this difficult time—while hoping for the best in a speedy recovery. #RigoStrong
We love you, @Rigojio88. #RigoStrong pic.twitter.com/nlBITTNYye— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) November 30, 2020