Rigoberto Sanchez punted in the Colts’ Week 12 game against the Titans, doing so despite receiving a cancer diagnosis. Informed late last week he had developed a cancerous tumor, Sanchez opted to play in Sunday’s home game.
Following the game, Sanchez addressed his more pressing issue by undergoing surgery. The fourth-year Indianapolis punter announced Tuesday the operation was successful (Twitter link).
“So grateful to be surrounded by doctors that helped me catch the cancerous tumor before it spread all over my body,” Sanchez said (via Instagram). “Unfortunately, there are things you can’t control in life and this is one of them. No plans or preparation would have gotten me ready for this kind of adversity, but like I told my wife, we can’t flinch. Keep striving to come back stronger than ever.
“Makes me sick that I’ll have to miss some time playing beside my brothers, but I know they will hold it down.”
Sanchez, 26, did not reveal the nature of the cancer. Even though the Colts lost on Sunday, Sanchez averaged 50.8 yards on five punts. He also attempted an onside kick. Sanchez has been Indianapolis’ punter since the start of the 2017 season, arriving as a undrafted free agent to take over for the retired Pat McAfee and kicking in every game since. The Colts gave Sanchez an extension in 2019; he is signed through the 2023 season.