Now that Vinatieri is hitting kicks again, Irsay is behind him 100 percent.
Via Joel Erickson of the Indianapolis Star, Irsay said in the aftermath of the Colts’ win at Kansas City that he was excited for the 46-year-old kicker.
“We were just here in January, eight months ago or nine months ago, and look at the difference of the outcome,” Irsay said. “So happy for Adam. No one deserves it more than him.”
Missing five kicks in the first two weeks created some legitimate worries that Vinatieri might be nearing the end of a brilliant career. But even as they brought in kickers for tryouts, the Colts expressed confidence in the league’s all-time leading scorer, and he continued to take his job one swing of the leg at a time.
“The first couple weeks were kind of rough, but I’m kicking the ball much better over the last couple of weeks and getting it back,” Vinatieri said. “I warmed up well and felt good. Happy to have the opportunity to put a bunch on the board.”
And now, Irsay is willing to think about him making kicks well into the future.
“That’s a Hall of Famer there,” Irsay said. “No one was going to get it corrected like Adam did. . . .
“I hope he invites me to his Hall of Fame induction, whenever that happens. Five or 10 years from now.”
While beating the Chiefs was significant — for Vinatieri and the Colts — seeing their trusted kicker back on track might pay even bigger dividends the rest of the season.