Colts: Rigoberto Sanchez’s first kickoff back is heartwarming
Colts punter Rigoberto Sanchez returned from cancer surgery on Sunday and kicked off for Indy!
When Colts punter/kickoff specialist Rigoberto Sanchez left the team several weeks back to undergo surgery to remove a cancerous tumor, the remainder of the season was supposed to be dedicated to his recovery.
It wasn’t supposed to include a Week 15 monument to his recovery — a remarkable comeback that came way ahead of schedule.
Just two weeks ago, following the team’s short-handed loss to the Titans, Sanchez announced he would be taking leave from the team to have surgery — yes, he kicked and punted in that game with the full knowledge of the breadth of his ailment because he believed the team needed him.
He vowed to be back soon, and incredibly, was true to his word and was in his rightful place on Sunday, kicking off against the Houston Texans in a critical showdown. We’re not crying, you’re crying — OK, fine, we’re also crying.
Sanchez’s return to practice came on Dec. 16, which is remarkable enough, and he made it perfectly clear he was up to speed and prepared to make an impact this weekend.
With a playoff run ahead of the Colts, they’re surely thrilled to get back a key piece in their special teams attack — and, of course, don’t discount the emotional impact.
You could feel something special in the air from the moment Sanchez ran out for the team’s introductions Sunday in front of a dedicated core of Colts fans.
Sanchez’s return has surpassed our wildest expectations — when the news was announced two weeks ago, who among us was even confident he’d be able to tackle the disease by next year, let alone in a two-week span?
Let’s hope his special teamers give him a bit of extra protection on Sunday, allowing him to show off his booming leg, something he’ll never take for granted again.