The Indianapolis Colts worked out four kickers on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, head coach Frank Reich announced that the team is sticking with veteran Adam Vinatieri despite his missed kicks impacting the outcome of multiple games this season.
Reich told reporters the that he and general manager Chris Ballard reached the decision together.
“Chris and I have talked about the situation,” Reich said. “We have confidence in Adam. Obviously, there have been other kickers in here working out. We have confidence in Adam.”
The Colts worked out Elliott Fry, Greg Joseph, Mike Nugent and Nick Rose on Tuesday, two days after Vinatieri missed an extra point in a 16-12 loss to the Miami Dolphins. The miss forced the Colts to go for a failed fourth-down conversion late in the game when they were in field goal range while trailing by four.
He’s 14-of-20 on extra points and 14-of-19 on field goal attempts this season. He missed multiple kicks in a Week 1 overtime loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. He missed a potential 43-yard game winner in a Week 9 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Those are numbers that would get any other NFL kicker cut.
‘He’s not just our kicker’
But Vinatieri, a 24-year veteran, four-time Super Bowl champion and likely Hall of Famer isn’t any other kicker. And his status is playing a role in keeping him employed.
“He's not just our kicker, he's a leader on our team — a captain, a presence,” Reich continued. “This is important. We feel like we need him going forward and have the utmost confidence in him.”
What Colts management saw in the kickers they worked out that brought them to this revelation is unclear. Reich didn’t expound on the workouts.
But if the Colts have confidence in Vinatieri, that’s something completely independent of what happened in free-agent workouts. It begs the question of why they auditioned other kickers to begin with.
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