Adam Vinatieri earns AFC Special Teams Player of the Week award

Adam Vinatieri #4 of the Indianapolis Colts (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Setting an all-time NFL record was worth a weekly honor for Adam Vinatieri.

The Indianapolis Colts’ veteran placekicker has been named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week on the strength of becoming the NFL’s career scoring leader in last Sunday’s win at Oakland. It marks the 18th time Vinatieri has earned the award, the most by any kicker in league history.

Vinatieri’s 25-yard field goal in the second quarter against the Raiders pushed him past Morten Andersen as the NFL’s career scoring leader. He finished the game with 10 points – two field goals, four PATs – to push his career total to 2,550 points.

“You know, I never thought I’d play this long and have the opportunity to be standing up here talking about this right now,’’ Vinatieri said after the Colts’ 42-28 win. “Being in that locker room . . . that’s the best part about today. It’s less the record but more that we got the record on a win.’’

In the locker room, coach Frank Reich presented Vinatieri with the game ball.

“How often do you get to say this?’’ Reich said as players looked on. “This ball goes to the greatest of all time!’’

Vinatieri’s teammates erupted. He choked up.

“I’ve been blessed to play for a long time,’’ he said.

Andrew Luck took time to praise his kicker, and the moment.

“I really don’t think we fully appreciate what just happened,’’ he said. “He doesn’t make a big deal out of anything. He approaches everything with such a professionalism and humility and deflects attention that I think we get lulled to sleep.

“I love playing with him. He’s taught me so much. How to handle yourself, how to be a pro. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: I’ll get to tell my grand kids and kids down the road that right now I play with Adam Vinatieri and at some point I got to play with Adam Vinatieri. He’s the best, the best ever.’’

Vinatieri is the third Colt to receive an NFL weekly award this season. Safety Mike Mitchell was cited in week 7 while rookie linebacker Darius Leonard was honored in week 2.

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