Adam Vinatieri's career coming full circle and returning to New England to solve the Patriots' kicking issue... the bread crumbs were all there.
Crumb #1: The Patriots don't have a kicker on the roster after releasing Kai Forbath.
Crumb #2: Vinatieri is in the midst of a disappointing season for the Colts.
Crumb #3: Indianapolis claimed rookie Chase McLaughlin off waivers from the 49ers.
Would the Colts turn to McLaughlin and release Vinatieri? And could the Patriots then sign the 46-year-old as their fifth kicker of the 2019?
But the (pipe) dream scenario of the likely future Hall of Famer coming back to where his NFL career started 23 years ago probably is just that: a dream.
After being limited in practice Wednesday, Vinatieri didn't kick at all Thursday, later telling reporters he has been dealing with knee pain all season long - and that it has increased recently. He had an MRI Wednesday and is scheduled to get the results later today, and though he wouldn't rule out playing this weekend, he reportedly sounded less than optimistic.
Whether it's the knee issue or Father Time inevitably catching up with him, the likely Hall of Famer has been struggling mightily this season, connetcing on 17-of-25 field goals (68 percent) and 22-of-28 extra point attempts (79 percent). Both numbers are career worsts by far. He has made only five of 12 field goals from beyond 40 yards.
But despite his struggles, Patriots fans would probably love to have Vinatieri back after the team has gone through Stephen Gostkowski, Mike Nugent, Nick Folk, and Kai Forbath in the first 12 games of the season.
Either way, Bill Belichick has three days to figure out who will line up for kicks Sunday against the Chiefs.
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Bad news for Patriots fans hoping for Adam Vinatieri reunion originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston