Rigoberto Sanchez returned to Colts practice after undergoing surgery for a cancerous tumor a little more than two weeks ago and shared his account of the experience Wednesday.
Sanchez told reporters he learned he had a cancerous tumor before Indianapolis' Week 11 game against the Tennessee Titans, but after asking team doctors if playing would worsen his condition and learning it would not, he decided to play anyway.
"Wasn't gonna do that to my team," Sanchez said of potentially sitting out of the game due to his diagnosis, via The Athletic's Zak Keefer. "They weren't gonna be able to get a punter in time."
In a normal season, the Colts would have time to find a punter and insert him for the contest, but with the league's necessary COVID-19 protocol, such an addition becomes time-consuming, essentially requiring a week of COVID-19 testing before being able to bring a new addition in house. Sanchez decided to put off his necessary operation by a few days in order to keep his team from having to find an emergency punter, even as his diagnosis was far from trivial.
The punter has since had a successful operation and is back with his team, fully participating in Wednesday's practice. He's thankful his cancer was discovered early, before it was able to spread throughout his body.
The Colts are just as thankful -- for both his dedication, and the doctors who acted quickly.