"I don't have an answer", Vinatieri told reporters. He was limited in practice Wednesday with a knee injury, did not practice Thursday and was ruled out on Friday. McLaughlin could become a worthy streaming consideration if he fills in at all for Vinatieri in the last four games.
Vinatieri said Thursday he needed clarity from medical personnel regarding chronic knee pain.
It will be the first game the oldest player in the National Football League has missed since 2009, and it's not clear whether Vinatieri will play again this year.
Despite working out 11 kickers at two different times this season, the Colts have stuck with Vinatieri even though he has made a career-low 68% of his field goal attempts this season. Before 2019, he hadn't missed more than three extra-point attempts in any season.
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Winston's rookie contract expires at the end of the season and the future of the 25 years at Tampa Bay is in the air.
But if Vinatieri's knee injury is significant enough to keep him off of the field for the next month, this is likely the last we have seen from the NFL's leading scorer. The third-year running back, who leads the Colts with 862 rushing yards and four touchdowns on the ground this season, injured his hand early in the third quarter against the Jaguars.
"If you can be on the field, you do everything you can to be on the field", Vinatieri said.