Indianapolis Colts punter Rigoberto Sanchez announced on Monday that he has a cancerous tumor that will require surgery. Sanchez, who will take leave from the team while he is treated, wrote on Instagram that he will undergo the procedure on Tuesday.
“Like I said before, it’s always God’s plan and it will always be bigger than my plans,” Sanchez, 26, wrote on Instagram. “So grateful to be surrounded by doctors that helped me catch the cancerous tumor before it spread all over my body. I will be getting surgery on Tuesday and I know that it will not be an easy bump on the road, but I know I have my amazing wife supporting me along with family, coaches, and friends reaching out.
“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. I will be watching. Love y’all.”
Sanchez has played in all 11 games this season for the Colts (7-4), including punting five times for a 50.8-yard average during Indianapolis’ 45-26 loss to Tennessee on Sunday.
Coach Frank Reich told reporters after Sunday’s game that Sanchez was dealing with a physical issue.
“I give Rigo a lot of credit for the way he punted today and for really coming through for us when we needed him the way that he did,” Reich said. “Then Rod [kicker Rodrigo Blankenship], when Rigo wasn’t able to kick off, Rod stepped in there and did a great job.”
Sanchez has averaged a career-best 47.2 yards per punt this season. He has played in all 59 games since starting his NFL career with the Colts in 2017.