INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Indianapolis Colts are taking a wait-and-see approach with Adam Vinatieri.
The veteran placekicker aggravated a groin injury on his first PAT attempt in Sunday’s 37-5 win over the Buffalo Bills. Vinatieri underwent a magnetic resonance image test after the game and will be monitored this week. He first appeared on the NFL’s injury report Oct. 2 in the week leading up to the New England game.
Coach Frank Reich admitted the team will bring in free-agent kickers for tryouts this week in the event Vinatieri is unable to play Sunday at Oakland.
“We’re going to bring in some kickers (for a tryout),’’ Reich said, “but we’re not going to make any decisions until later . . . we’ll see how the week plays out.’’
Vinatieri, 45 and the NFL’s oldest active player, has appeared in 344 regular-season games, the fourth-most in league history. The last time he missed a game because of an injury was in 2009 when he was recovering from arthroscopic surgery on his right knee.
On that occasion, the Colts signed Matt Stover who would convert 9-of-11 field-goal attempts during the regular season and 6-of-7 during their postseason run that ended with a 31-17 loss to New Orleans in Super Bowl XLIV.
Whether the Colts again look for a temporary replacement hinges on how Vinatieri deals with the injury.
“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,’’ Reich said.
“I thought he was just like a robot. I mean, he’s a machine. The good thing is he has that mental toughness, that mindset. To do what he’s done in his career, he’s got the right mindset to get past this whatever course it should take.’’
Vinatieri entered Sunday’s game needing 10 points to eclipse Morten Andersen’s all-time NFL record (2,544). But he showed discomfort when he pulled his first PAT attempt wide right in the second quarter. He managed to convert a 36-yard field goal and two PATs, but again pulled a point-after wide right in the fourth quarter.
After the game, Vinatieri was clearly disgusted.
“That wasn’t good,’’ he said. “I’ll be on the injury report this week.’’
You can follow Mike Chappell on Twitter at @mchappell51.