The end of Colts K Adam Vinatieri‘s career appeared to be knocking on the door earlier this season after the veteran kicker missed five kicks in the first two games. However, Vinatieri has righted the ship in recent weeks, culminating in making all four of his kicks in Sunday night’s win against the Chiefs that avenged their season-ending playoff loss earlier this year.
“We were just here in January, eight months ago or nine months ago, and look at the difference of the outcome,” Colts owner Jim Irsay said via Joel Erickson of the Indianapolis Star. “So happy for Adam. No one deserves it more than him.”
The Colts went as far as to work out other kickers following Vinatieri’s early-season struggles. But the likely future Hall-of-Famer rebounded.
“The first couple weeks were kind of rough, but I’m kicking the ball much better over the last couple of weeks and getting it back,” Vinatieri said. “I warmed up well and felt good. Happy to have the opportunity to put a bunch on the board.”
- Colts LB Darius Leonard announced he has cleared the concussion protocol and will return to the field in Week 7 following the Colts’ bye this week. (Mike Wells)
The Jaguars will have a decision to make between sixth-round rookie QB Gardner Minshew and big-ticket free-agent signing QB Nick Foles when the latter returns from a broken collarbone. In the meantime, though, Jacksonville’s biggest concern is making sure their current starter stays on the field after a trend of low hits by defenders has emerged in recent weeks.
“I would hope that everyone’s doing what they’re supposed to do and those are penalties for hitting him low,” Jaguars H Doug Marrone said via Garry Smits of the Florida Times-Union. “I think you get concerned when things are happening to your team that aren’t getting called. . . . Obviously, those things … We have the ability to turn them in, make people aware of it prior to [a game]. But . . . during the course of the game, you like to see that stuff get called and make sure that player safety is the number one thing that we harp on and we talk about. So, that’s the one thing that we should be doing well.”
- The Jaguars worked out TEs Brian Parker, Eric Tomlinson and Will Tye on Tuesday. (Aaron Wilson)
The Texans certainly don’t have the worst kicking situation in the NFL right now, with kicker struggles rampant around the league this season. However, K Ka’imi Fairbairn has been less than solid so far to start the season, missing three extra points and two field goals a year after leading the NFL in points. Houston has a new holder this year, but Texans HC Bill O’Brien says that’s no excuse.
“It’s always about the whole operation,” O’Brien said, via the Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson. “I think he’s had plenty of time with Bryan. He’s got to make the kicks. He knows that. He’ll be the first to tell you that. Ka’imi is a great teammate. He’s a good guy and he knows it. It’s just a matter of plant foot. He’s pushing it a little bit. He’ll come back better this week.”
- The Tennessee Titans worked out RBs Rod Smith (signed), Zach Zenner and Jeremy McNichols on Tuesday. (Aaron Wilson)