A Healthy Vinatieri Returns to Reclaim Backup Kicker Spot

By  Last updated: 27th April 2011

CHARLESTON, SC — Charleston Challengers backup kicker Adam Vinatieri passed his physical today and was activated from the physically unable to perform list after undergoing offseason surgeries on his right hip and right knee.

With Vinatieri working his way back into playing shape, the Challengers are expected to part ways with Ronald the Donkey, who had won over Charleston fans with his hardnosed play on kickoffs, and his nominal salary of oats and apples, but whose 22.1% field goal accuracy in practices had caused Challengers coaches to worry about their alternatives to starting kicker Stephen Gostkowski.

Vinatieri is expected to be ready for the Challengers’ Sept. 13 season opener against the Miracles.

Vinatieri may receive some attention for the FFL Hall of Fame upon his retirement, as his 804 career kicking points are among the league’s historical best, exceeded only by prolific FFL scorer Jason Elam.  In recent years, however, he has been a journeyman backup.  He has played for nine of the twelve FFL franchises in his career.  Last season, he was released by the Blockers and Predators before latching on for the last few weeks of the season with the Phoenix Conquistadors.

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