NFL Notebook: Vinatieri sets NFL field goals record

The Sports Xchange

September 30, 2018 at 5:02 pm.

Sep 30, 2018; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri (4) kicks an extra point during the first half against the Houston Texans at Lucas Oil Stadium. Photo Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Sep 30, 2018; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri (4) kicks an extra point during the first half against the Houston Texans at Lucas Oil Stadium. Photo Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Adam Vinatieri is now the NFL career leader in field goals made with 566.

The Indianapolis Colts kicker set the record on Sunday by connecting on a 42-yard field goal in the second quarter against the Houston Texans.

Hall of Fame kicker Morten Andersen had held the record, but the longtime Saints and Falcons kicker needed 38 more attempts (709) than Vinatieri (671) to reach 566.

The 45-year-old Vinatieri is in his 13th season with Colts. He spent the first 10 years of his career with New England, where he made 263 of his field goals.

He has been one of the most accurate kickers the league has ever seen. With the Patriots, he connected on 81.9 percent of his field-goal attempts. Vinatieri has been more accurate with Colts, making 86.5 percent of his attempts.

Consistency from long distance has been a hallmark for the 45-year-old. Between 40 and 49 yards, he has made 158 field goals. And he has 40 field goals on 63 attempts from 50 yards or farther.

Andersen is the career points leader with 2,544. Vinatieri sits in second place with 2,511 points.

Sunday’s game also was the 341st for the 23-year veteran. Vinatieri now sits fourth on the career list of games played, having passed George Blanda.

— Cincinnati tight end Tyler Eifert was taken off the field on a cart after suffering what appeared to be a gruesome lower leg injury on Sunday against the Falcons in Atlanta.

Eifert already had caught a 14-yard touchdown reception when he made his fourth reception early in the third quarter.

The 28-year-old Eifert caught a short pass from quarterback Andy Dalton and was dragged to the ground by Falcons linebacker De’Vondre Campbell. The tackle left Eifert’s right ankle twisted in an awkward way.

An air cast was placed on his lower leg, and Eifert was carted off the field with tears in his eyes.

Injuries have plagued Eifert throughout his career. He has missed 41 games out of a possible 80 games in his first five years. He played in just one game in 2014 and only two games in 2017.

When he is healthy, he is a reliable scoring threat, having caught 20 touchdowns.

–The talk before Sunday’s game was that it might be only a matter of time before Seahawks safety Earl Thomas gets his way — a one-way ticket out of Seattle.Thomas has other concerns now.

During the Seahawks’ 20-17 win over the Arizona Cardinals, Thomas suffered a lower leg fracture, coach Pete Carroll confirmed after the game.

The injury occurred on a game-tying touchdown pass from Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen to receiver Chad Williams in the third quarter. Several Seahawks players surrounded Thomas while holding hands as team medical personnel attended to him.

After Thomas’ left leg was placed in an air cast, he was carted off the field. It appeared that he raised a middle finger toward the Seattle sideline while he was wheeled into the locker room.

Second-year pro Tedric Thompson replaced Thomas, who held out during training camp in a contract dispute.

Seattle has been shopping the disgruntled Pro Bowl selection. Multiple reports say the Seahawks are asking for two second-round picks, and they are standing firm on what they want for the 29-year-old out of Texas.

Thomas is in the final season of a four-year, $40 million deal. At the end of this season, he will become an unrestricted free agent. Two potential suitors, according to, are the Kansas City Chiefs and Dallas Cowboys.

— Detroit Lions right guard T.J. Lang sustained a concussion during the first quarter of Sunday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys.

Lang appeared to be on the receiving end of a helmet-to-helmet hit by Cowboys linebacker Jaylon Smith on a 1-yard run by LeGarrette Blount.

The 31-year-old Lang needed assistance to get off the field and was taken directly to the locker room. The team later announced that Lang was out for the remainder of the game with a concussion.

Lang was a Pro Bowl selection in 2016 for the Green Packers before signing a three-year contact with the Lions in the offseason.

— Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb was ruled inactive for Sunday’s game against the visiting Buffalo Bills.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling started in place of Cobb, who has a hamstring injury.

Cobb is a huge part of Green Bay’s offensive scheme, having participated in 91 percent of the team’s offensive plays through three games. He has 17 receptions for 194 yards and a touchdown. However, in the last two games, Cobb has been limited to a total of eight catches for 52 yards.

Cornerback Brashad Breeland, who was signed on Wednesday, was also inactive for the Packers. The 26-year-old Breeland had been seeking a job since failing a physical due to a toe injury with the Carolina Panthers during the offseason, nullifying a three-year, $24 million deal with the club.

— The Carolina Panthers did not ask safety Eric Reid about his anthem protests or ongoing collusion case against the NFL before signing him to a one-year contract this week, according to a published report on Sunday.

CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora reported that Panthers general manager Marty Hurney told him that it “was purely a football decision.”

“There were no conversations about anything other than football. Eric is a good football player who can help our team at safety,” Hurney said.

Reid, who said previously that he intends to stand for the anthem, was signed by the Panthers in a bid to bolster their secondary. Veteran Da’Norris Searcy was placed on injured reserve with his second concussion in a month.

The 26-year-old Reid has been a starter in each of his five NFL seasons.

Reid started 12 of the 13 games he played for the San Francisco 49ers in 2017, when he had two interceptions, four passes defensed, one fumble recovery and 66 tackles. He has 10 interceptions, 34 passes defended, one sack and 375 tackles since being selected by the 49ers with the 18th overall pick of the 2013 NFL Draft.

— The 49ers are content with playing C.J. Beathard as opposed to signing or trading for a high-profile quarterback, according to a published report Sunday.

ESPN reported that the 49ers plan to go with Beathard because they don’t see a better solution in the wake of Jimmy Garoppolo’s season-ending injury. The team expects Beathard to “be productive.”

Beathard appeared in seven games as a rookie last season, completing 54.9 percent of his passes for 1,430 yards. He also had four touchdown passes and six interceptions.

Garoppolo won all five starts to wrap up 2017 and was the biggest source for the lofty expectations in the Bay Area. Those good feelings came to an end last weekend after he sustained a torn ACL in a 38-27 loss at the Kansas City Chiefs.

— Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown isn’t thrilled with just being targeted the third most times this season.

A six-time Pro Bowl selection, Brown cited his impressive resume for his need to have more on his plate. For a point of reference, he has been targeted 42 times in three games.

The Steelers (1-1-1) received their first win on Monday with a 30-27 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Brown had six catches for 50 yards versus the Buccaneers, increasing his totals to 24 and 201, respectively, this season. His season-long totals trail fellow wideout JuJu Smith-Schuster for the team lead in both categories (27, 356).

Brown has 100-plus-catch seasons in each of the last five years. He also has eclipsed 1,200 receiving yards while reeling in eight or more touchdown passes in every season during that stretch.

Signed to a four-year, $68 million contract extension in February 2017, Brown had 101 receptions for an NFL-best 1,533 yards last season despite missing two games with a calf injury. He also had nine touchdown catches en route to being named the AFC Offensive Player of the Year.

Brown has 757 career receptions for 10,120 yards and 61 touchdowns since entering the league as a sixth-round pick of the Steelers in the 2010 NFL Draft.

— Los Angeles Rams linebacker Dominique Easley could be in line for his fourth operation on his knee in seven years.

Easley had four tackles in the first three games of the season before sitting out Los Angeles’ 38-31 win over the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday.

Easley moved from defensive tackle to outside linebacker this year after sitting out the entire 2017 due to a torn ACL sustained in August.

The 6-foot-2, 273-pound Easley signed with Los Angeles as a free agent befire the 2016 season, when he had 3.5 sacks in a situational role.

— The Pittsburgh Steelers are asking a steep price for the services of star running back Le’Veon Bell.

The Steelers have informed teams interested in Bell that the asking price is at least a second-round draft pick in addition to another a “good” player, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Sunday.

For Bell to be traded, he would have to sign his $14.54 million franchise tender. That move must be done since the Steelers can not trade him until the tender he is currently under contract.

If Bell isn’t moved before the Oct. 30 trade deadline, the 26-year-old has until Nov. 13 to sign his tender in order to accrue a season toward free agency. Bell has forfeited more than $3.4 million in salary by missing the first four games of the season.

Bell struggled out of the blocks in 2017 before finishing the season with 1,291 rushing yards and 85 receptions for 655 yards. Bell was selected to the Pro Bowl for the third time and was named All-Pro for the second time.