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Adam Vinatieri still kicking for Colts

Indianapolis Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri warms up before an NFL football game between the Colts and the Tennessee Titans Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/James Kenney)AP/FR171271 AP via AP

Colts coach Frank Reich still wants Adam Vinatieri to be his kicker.

The NFL’s career scoring leader left the team complex Monday afternoon without speaking to reporters, though he promised a day earlier he would as speculation swirled that the 46-year-old might retire.

‘‘In a strange way before the game started yesterday, I was kind of hoping it came down to a 60-yard field goal to win the game,’’ Reich said. ‘‘I'm hoping that that’s going to happen one of these games and he’s the guy — there’s nobody else I'd trust more than I would trust Adam Vinatieri.’’

Reich said Vinatieri would speak Tuesday and sounds as if he expects Vinatieri to be kicking Sunday against Atlanta in the Colts’ home opener.


Given Vinatieri’s history, Reich has good reason to believe Vinatieri will solve an early-season slump that might go down as the worst of his 24-year career.

He’s missed 5 of 8 kicks in the first two games, including three extra points, matching his single-season career high.

In a season-opening overtime loss to the Chargers, Vinatieri missed two field goals and an extra point in a game for the first time in his career.

On Sunday, at Tennessee, it almost happened again. After making the first extra point, he pulled the second one wide left while the third hit the right upright. The Colts’ defense prevented the Titans from moving into position for a potential shot at a winning field goal.

Reich said the first miss Sunday was the result of a bad snap. But it was clear Vinatieri was frustrated with his performance.

He atypically did not take questions following the game, instead telling reporters he would talk Monday — a day Colts players do not normally meet with media members.

When asked whether the Colts might try out kickers this week, Reich deferred to general manager Chris Ballard. Reich has a clear preference.


‘‘I know there has been a lot of discussion about Adam. I just want to make this clear: Adam is our kicker,’’ Reich said. ‘‘Like I said [Sunday], we have zero concern. He’s not only our kicker, he’s an instrumental leader on our team.’’

Vinatieri has had one of the longest and most successful careers in league history.

He broke Morten Andersen’s career scoring and field goal records last season. Vinatieri has 2,605 points and 583 field goals.

He owns four Super Bowl rings, is the only player in NFL history to score 1,000 points with two franchises, and has made some of the most memorable kicks in league history, including two Super Bowl winners. Vinatieri also has participated in a record 216 regular-season wins, has played in the second-most games in NFL history (355), and is the third-oldest player to ever suit up for a game.

Fitzpatrick gets wish

Pittsburgh acquired defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick from the Dolphins for a 2020 first-round pick.

Fitzpatrick, who had requested a trade, had six tackles, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery in Miami’s 43-0 loss Sunday to the Patriots.

Fitzpatrick, a former first-round pick out of Alabama. will likely step in for starting safety Sean Davis, who suffered a shoulder injury Sunday.

Ramsey wants out

A person familiar with the situation says Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey has requested a trade following his sideline argument with coach Doug Marrone. The person spoke to the Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because neither Ramsey nor the team had made the request public.


Ramsey’s agent, David Mulugheta, confirmed to ESPN that he asked the Jaguars to trade the disgruntled defender.

Jalen Ramsey wants out of Jacksonville.James Gilbert/Getty Images/Getty Images

Ramsey was upset that Marrone didn’t challenge DeAndre Hopkins’s first-down catch late in the first quarter of a 13-12 loss at Houston on Sunday. The Texans moved the chains and ended the drive with a field goal. Ramsey said something to Marrone as he walked off the field and appeared to put his hands on the head coach as he made his way to the bench. Marrone responded by getting in Ramsey’s face and yelling.

Marrone offered few explanations for the intense altercation and said Ramsey would not be punished.

Manning’s job in doubt

Coach Pat Shurmur has refused to say whether two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning will continue to start at quarterback for the winless Giants.

Shurmur said his coaching staff will be discussing all areas after the Giants fell to 0-2, losing their home opener 28-14 to the Bills on Sunday.

Now in his second season as head coach, Shurmur said Manning has been the starter but he does not want to discuss whether he is thinking about making the change to Daniel Jones.

Jones was taken sixth overall in the NFL Draft and played very well in the preseason. He also is a lot more mobile than the 38-year-old Manning and offers that option to the offense.

‘‘Eli has been our starter to this point,’’ Shurmur said. ‘‘I don’t want to talk about anything else moving forward.’’


Giants coach Pat Shurmur wouldn’t commit to Eli Manning as his starting quarterback this coming week.Michael Ainsworth/AP/FR171389 AP via AP

When told his refusal to make a definitive statement on his starting quarterback for Sunday’s game at Tampa Bay would invite speculation, Shurmur said he understood. He also said he felt Manning has played well.

Manning seemed uncertain about his future minutes later in the locker room. He sounded as if he had not been told his status.

‘‘We’re 0-2 and you are looking for answers,’’ Manning said. ‘‘I get it, we drafted a guy early and you are not winning games, these things are going to come up. I just have to keep working and do whatever my job is.’’

Manning is 56 of 89 for 556 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. His quarterback rating is 78.7.

Chargers lose DB Phillips

Adrian Phillips will be out for an extended period, dealing another blow to the Chargers’ secondary.

The Chargers strong safety broke his right forearm while trying to tackle Detroit running back Kerryon Johnson during the fourth quarter of LA’s 13-10 loss Sunday. Phillips moved into the starting spot after Derwin James had surgery for a stress fracture in his right foot midway through training camp.

Coach Anthony Lynn said it is likely Phillips will be placed on injured reserve in order to add another defensive back to the roster. Besides James, cornerback Trevor Williams is on IR due to a quad injury.

Phillips, who is in his sixth year, has 13 tackles through the first two games. He was an All-Pro selection last year for special teams after leading the league with 19 special teams tackles.


Browns, Jets shuffle QBs

Browns backup quarterback Drew Stanton was placed on injured reserve, prior to Cleveland’s game with the Jets on monday night.

Stanton, who has been listed as No. 2 on Cleveland’s depth chart behind Baker Mayfield, injured his knee during practice last week. The 35-year-old Stanton has made 17 career starts since being selected by the Lions in 2007.

With Stanton out, Garrett Gilbert, who has appeared in one NFL game since 2014, was the Week 2 backup.

The Jets also shuffled their quarterback depth chart, promoting Luke Falk from the practice squad to serve as the backup to starter Trevor Siemian.

The team also waived safety Bennett Jackson a few hours before the game.

Siemian was starting because Sam Darnold is out while recovering from mononucleosis. The second-year quarterback will likely be sidelined for several weeks.

Falk was claimed by the Jets off waivers from Miami in May. He threw for 230 yards and two touchdowns in the preseason for New York, winning the No. 3 job over Davis Webb.

The team also waived safety Bennett Jackson a few hours before the game. Jackson turned 27 on Monday and the team wished him a Happy Birthday on Twitter — before later deleting it after he was waived.

Eagles were burned by Jones

In the blink of an eye, Julio Jones turned a fourth-down screen pass into a 54-yard touchdown with 2:10 remaining Sunday night as the Falcons came back after a squandering a 17-6 lead to beat the visiting Eagles, 24-20, late Sunday night. Jones’s speed on the winning play was stunning, reaching an estimated 20 mph as he glided away from a futile swipe by Rodney McLeod and left Andrew Sendejo far behind. Philadelphia had a chance at the end when Carson Wentz converted on fourth and 14, somehow getting off a pass with a rusher in his chest that Nelson Agholor hauled in between Keanu Neal and Ricardo Allen for a 43-yard completion to the Falcons’ 18. But Neal and Isaiah Oliver dragged down Zach Ertz less than a yard short of the marker on another fourth-down play inside the 10 to preserve the victory.