Colts reportedly working out kickers in wake of Adam Vinatieri's struggles

The Indianapolis Colts have stood by veteran kicker Adam Vinatieri as his struggles this season have weighed heavy in losses.

But multiple reports point to the Colts at least kicking the tires on a change at the position.

ESPN’s Dan Graziano reported early Tuesday that the Colts planned to work out multiple kickers. Later on Tuesday, NFL Network’s Albert Breer reported that Indianapolis had indeed worked out Elliott Fry, Greg Joseph, Mike Nugent and Nick Rose.

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Vinatieri’s struggles

Vinatieri’s latest miscue was a missed extra point in Sunday’s 16-12 loss to the Miami Dolphins. The missed kick forced the Colts into a failed fourth-down attempt late in the game when they were in field-goal range and trailing by four.

He also missed a go-ahead 43-yard field goal in the final minutes of a 26-24 Week 9 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, and an extra point and a pair of field goals in a Week 1 overtime loss to the Los Angeles Chargers.

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His two missed extra points in Week 2 didn’t factor into the outcome of a win over the Tennessee Titans. But they prompted speculation that the 46-year-old was considering retirement before he declared later in the week that he would continue to play.

On the season, Vinatieri’s connected on 14-of-19 field goal attempts and 14-of-20 extra points.

The Colts would certainly prefer that Adam Vinatieri leave football on his own terms, but his struggles are forcing them to consider their options. (Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
The Colts would certainly prefer that Adam Vinatieri leave football on his own terms, but his struggles are forcing them to consider their options. (Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Tough spot for Colts

Vinatieri has put together a remarkable career that’s included hitting high-pressure kicks while winning four Super Bowls. He’ll likely end up in the Hall of Fame. His résumé and leadership qualities have earned him significant leeway in the Colts organization.

Stephen Holder, the Colts beat writer for The Athletic, says that he’s skeptical of a change at the position and doesn’t see it happening “based on what I see and hear” in wake of the news of kicker workouts.

But logic dictates that the Colts aren’t spending time watching free agents kick footballs for their own entertainment. They’re doing it because Vinatieri’s struggles have forced them to consider other options.

The Colts would certainly prefer that a player who has been with the organization for 14 years and won a Super Bowl in Indianapolis leave football on his own terms.

But his missed kicks are playing a factor in losses. And that’s not a situation that any other NFL kicker survives with his job intact.

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