Colts punter injured running suicide sprints at practice – USA TODAY

WESTFIELD, Ind. — The Colts’ decision to run “suicide sprints” after Tuesday’s practice has proven costly.
Punter Rigoberto Sanchez went down during the sprints and suffered an Achilles injury, a team spokesperson said. He’ll undergo further testing Wednesday, and if it confirms a tear, he will miss the upcoming season.
The 27-year-old had become one of the steadiest players on the roster, starting the last five seasons and averaging between 44.8 and 46.2 yards per punt each year. He’s also handled kickoff duties and held for field goal attempts for the Colts in all five seasons.
Last season, Sanchez downed 23 of his 58 punts inside the 20-yard line. He twice won the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week Award and was a key member of a Colts special teams unit that finished 14th in Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric for efficiency.
The injury happened as the Colts were running suicide sprints to end Tuesday’s practice. The entire team was running them, which involved the punter in an activity he normally wouldn’t perform during a practice.
Indianapolis does not have a backup punter on the roster. It will now be a position the team must address, possibly through waivers as teams make cuts toward the 53-man final rosters to end the preseason.
This had been a relatively injury-free training camp for the Colts when it comes to first-team players. Excluding linebacker Shaquille Leonard, who began camp on the physically unable to perform list due to offseason back surgery, the only other long-term injury so far has been tight end Drew Ogletree’s torn ACL. Cornerback Isaiah Rodgers has missed more than a week in the league’s concussion protocol, but it remains to be seen how long he will be out.
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This now creates questions for the Colts at kicker and punter, as well as on kickoffs. Rodrigo Blankenship has outperformed Jake Verity on field goals in camp, though he is still unproven on clutch and lengthy kicks, and now he needs a new holder. Blankenship has kicked off 20 times in two years with 14 touchbacks.
Contact Colts insider Nate Atkins at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @NateAtkins_.


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