Vinatieri ‘nervously confident’ he’ll kick vs. Oakland, heavy treatment this week
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Adam Vinatieri finds himself in wait-and-see mode.
And he’ll do that waiting and seeing the next few days while getting better acquainted with the Indianapolis Colts’ medical staff.
“Going to treat the hell out of it,’’ Vinatieri said of his ailing right groin. “Treat, treat, treat, treat.
“If I can get good enough, we’ll be good to go. If not, I think there’s a contingency plan. I think they had a couple of guys in today.’’
Vinatieri’s early-week prognosis?
“I’m nervously confident,’’ he said with a smile. “I’m going to try to be as smart as possible, but as you know I’m also pretty darned competitive. We’ll see.’’
Vinatieri’s status for Sunday’s road test with the Oakland Raiders has been in doubt since he aggravated a groin injury on his first PAT attempt last Sunday against the Buffalo Bills. He was in obvious discomfort as he converted a 36-yard field goal and two PATS while missing a second point-after in the fourth quarter.
The plan is for Vinatieri to receive heavy treatment Tuesday and Wednesday, then hopefully determine Thursday whether he’s able to kick. It’s possible the team would wait until Friday before looking to Plan B, which would mean signing a free-agent kicker.
“I’ll know better in a couple of days,’’ he said. “We’ll figure it out.
“The silver lining is we have the bye week coming up. If I can’t go, the bye will help a ton.’’
A longshot, short-term possibility might be punter Rigoberto Sanchez. At Miami, he converted 21-of-24 field-goal attempts with a long of 55. However, it’s more likely the Colts look outside for help.
Coach Frank Reich indicated Vinatieri will have input into any decision.
“He’s just so unique that we’re going to listen to him, we’re going to listen to the trainers and we’ll form our decision as the week goes on,’’ he said.
Vinatieri, 45 and the NFL’s oldest active player, has appeared in 344 regular-season games – fourth-most in league history – and last missed a game because of injury in 2009. That season, the Colts relied on Matt Stover.
A subplot to Vinatieri’s situation is his pursuit of Morten Andersen’s all-time NFL scoring mark of 2,544 points. Vinatieri contributed 5 points to Sunday’s 37-5 blowout of the Bills, leaving him 5 points shy of eclipsing Andersen.
If the groin injury keeps him out of the Raiders game, Vinatieri almost certainly would set the record at home. After the bye, the Colts have three straight games at Lucas Oil Stadium: Nov. 11 against Jacksonville, Nov. 18 against Tennessee and Nov. 25 against Miami.
You can follow Mike Chappell on Twitter at @mchappell51.