AUGUST 24: Testing confirmed the veteran punter indeed sustained an Achilles tear, according to the Colts. In all likelihood, Sanchez will miss all of the 2022 season.
AUGUST 23: On the verge of starting his sixth season as the Colts’ punter, Rigoberto Sanchez may instead need to log extensive rehab time. The veteran specialist suffered an Achilles injury in practice Tuesday, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets.
Sanchez went down while running sprints at the end of practice, according to CBS4’s Mike Chappell (on Twitter). That is certainly an unusual way to lose a specialist. More testing will take place Wednesday, per the Indianapolis Star’s Joel Erickson (Twitter link), but the likelihood the Colts will need a new punter appears high. Sanchez’s dual-threat contributions also stand to make him more difficult to replace for the Colts.
Taking over for Pat McAfee as a rookie in 2017, Sanchez has missed just two games. Both came in 2020, when he underwent surgery to remove a cancerous tumor. Sanchez returned weeks after that procedure. Last season marked a reduction in yards per punt for the veteran, whose average came in at 44.5. The 28-year-old punter was not in danger of losing his job, however, as the Colts have him signed to a four-year, $11.6MM extension — a deal that runs through 2024.
Indianapolis, which signed Ryan Allen to replace Sanchez two years ago, will likely hold a workout to determine a fill-in option soon.