Pat McAfee to Undergo Offseason Knee Surgery; Miss Pro Bowl

Lost in the shuffle on Saturday was that Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee is set to undergo knee surgery this offseason following an injury he suffered late in the season and will miss this year’s Pro Bowl–which is scheduled for January 29th in Orlando, Florida:

Obviously, it’s a tough blow for McAfee, who was among the league’s best punters this past season and earned his Pro Bowl spot in the AFC. While he was snubbed from AP All-Pro honors, he was named to Pro Football Focus’ All-Pro team.

Specifically, McAfee led the league in gross punting average at 49.3 yards per punt (a career high) and finished 3rd in average net yards per punt at 42.7 net yards per punt.

Dec 18, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee (1) against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. The Colts defeated the Vikings 34-6. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Dec 18, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee (1) against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. The Colts defeated the Vikings 34-6. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

The 8th-year veteran also handled kicks offs for the Colts, as well as holding duties for legendary placekicker Adam Vinatieri–as the team’s most versatile special teams weapon.

While it’s a bit concerning because McAfee already had surgery on his non-kicking knee this past offseason and by his own account, it’s his third knee surgery in the past four years, it doesn’t appear that his latest knee injury is overly serious.

It’s worth noting that the injury clearly didn’t slow down McAfee for the final weeks of the regular season, as he continued to punt at an extremely high level.

That being said, it’s never a positive sign that a player has to “go under the knife”, so here’s hoping McAfee has a speedy recovery and is fully ready to go for next season.

In McAfee’s absence at the Pro Bowl, wide receiver T.Y. Hilton is the lone player representing the Colts–although it’s entirely possible that starting quarterback Andrew Luck could eventually be named as a replacement for the Oakland Raiders Derek Carr (broken leg), as well as a potential Super Bowl quarterback such as the New England Patriots Tom Brady or Pittsburgh Steelers Ben Roethlisberger.

It seems as though the Oakland Raiders Marquette King could be a strong candidate to replace McAfee’s as the AFC’s punter, as the young star punter already earned AP 2nd-Team All-Pro honors–although McAfee also mentioned the Kansas City Chiefs Dustin Colquitt.

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