Colts are hopeful punter Rigoberto Sanchez can return to practice this week.— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) December 15, 2020
The 26 year old isn’t even two full weeks removed from a surgery that removed a scary cancerous tumor, but he’s apparently making encouraging progress in his recovery.
Sanchez returned to the Colts building last week and was already attending team meetings. His head coach, Frank Reich, was confident that he would return this season, but it was just a matter of when.
As a fill-in, left footed veteran punter Ryan Allen has punted 6 times for a 46.0 yards per punt average during two games in relief. Allen’s continued to be stashed on the Colts practice squad, only to be activated for game days, which means Sanchez’s absence was always expected to be relatively short-lived.
Still, a mere two to three weeks of being potentially out seems like a very positive result given the significance of having a surgery involved—no matter what kind.
In 2020, Sanchez has punted the ball 31 times for the Colts, averaging 47.2 yards per punt and a NET 40.6 yards per punt during 10 games. He’s pinned 48.4% of his total punts within the opposing team’s 20-yard line, which is the 4th highest percentage in the NFL this year among punters.
Whenever he returns, he’ll be a welcome addition to the Colts special teams units, as he also typically serves as a field goal holder and handles kickoffs—in addition to his punting duties.