Dec. 9 (UPI) -- The Indianapolis Colts placed veteran kicker Adam Vinatieri on season-ending injured reserve with a left knee injury, the team announced Monday.
Despite the significant injury, Vinatieri, who is in his 24th season in the NFL, hasn't ruled out a possible return next year.
"It is my understanding that Adam's mindset is he is not done," Colts head coach Frank Reich told reporters Monday. "That doesn't surprise me. I mean, I love that. That guy inspires me. Adam is unique in that way, it is one of the things that makes him the greatest of all time."
Vinatieri, 46, was inactive for Sunday's loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He has struggled throughout the season because of his left knee issues that began in training camp, converting only 17-of-25 field goal attempts and 22-of-28 extra points.
If Vinatieri opts to walk away from the league after this season, he will finish as the NFL's leading career scorer (2,671 points) and with 29 game-winning kicks. He is a three-time Pro Bowl selection and three-time All-Pro choice.
Vinatieri has won four Super Bowl titles in his career, earning three with the New England Patriots and one with the Colts.