Indianapolis Colts punter Rigoberto Sanchez to have cancerous tumor removed


INDIANAPOLIS — Rigoberto Sanchez will miss an unspecified amount of time to have a cancerous tumor removed, the Colts punter announced on Instagram on Monday.

“So grateful to be surrounded by doctors that helped me catch the cancerous tumor before it spread all over my body,” Sanchez wrote on Instagram. “… Unfortunately, there are things you can’t control in life and this is one of them. No plans or preparations would have gotten me ready for this kind of adversity, but like I told my wife, we can’t flinch … Makes me sick that I’ll have to miss some time playing besides my brothers, but I know they will hold it down.”

Concerns about Sanchez’s health came into question after he didn’t handle his normal kickoff duties in Sunday’s loss to Tennessee. Kicker Rodrigo Blankenship kicked off and Sanchez only punted against the Titans.

Colts coach Frank Reich was vague when asked about Sanchez’s health following the game. “Rigo is dealing with a physical issue that we have to get further evaluated,” Reich said Sunday. “I give Rigo a lot of credit for the way he punted (Sunday) and for really coming through for us when we needed him the way that he did. Then Rod, when Rigo wasn’t able to kickoff, Rod stepped in there and did a great job.”

Reich is scheduled to have his normal day-after media call at 4 p.m. ET on Monday.

The Colts will have to sign a punter to replace Sanchez, who is averaging 47.2 yards a punt and has landed 15 punts inside the 20-yard line this season.

Sanchez’s situation is the latest health issue the Colts (7-4) are dealing with. Left tackle Anthony Castonzo had a MRI on his knee Monday morning to confirm if he has just a MCL injury after leaving the game early in the second quarter Sunday.

Starting center Ryan Kelly (neck), linebacker Bobby Okereke (ankle), running back Jonathan Taylor (COVID-19) and defensive linemen DeForest Buckner (COVID-19) and Denico Autry (COVID-19) all missed the game against the Titans.





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