Former University of Hawaii placekicker and punter Rigoberto Sanchez, now of the Indianapolis Colts, has been diagnosed with a cancerous tumor and is scheduled to undergo surgery Tuesday, he said in a post on Instagram this morning.
Sanchez, in his fourth season with Indianapolis, punted in Sunday’s loss to Tennessee and executed an onside kick attempt late in the game but yielded his usual kickoff chores to Rodrigio Blankenship, the Indianapolis Star said.
Sanchez punted five times for a 50.4 average.
Following the game, Indianapolis head coach Frank Reich told the media Sanchez was dealing with a medical situation: “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.”
Sanchez did not disclose the location of the tumor but said doctors indicated they believe it was diagnosed before spreading to his entire body.
“Unfortunately, there are things you can’t control in life, and this is one of them,” Sanchez said in his post. “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.”
Sanchez added, “It’s always God’s plan, and it will always be bigger than my plans. I know that it will not be an easy bump in the road, but I know I have my amazing wife supporting me, along with family, coaches and friends reaching out.”
Sanchez played two seasons at UH, 2015 and ‘16, leading the team in scoring and punting both years.
In 2016 he kicked a 55-yard field goal at Michigan, one yard short of the school record.