The 38-year old veteran battled through a painful hip injury and has put together a fantastic campaign for the Arizona Cardinals.
There haven’t many positives in what’s been an extremely disappointing campaign for the Arizona Cardinals. The squad has suffered a barrage of injuries, and victories have been few and far between for head coach Kliff Kingsbury’s Redbirds.
One Cards player who does deserve kudos is Matt Prater, the aging placekicker who’s about to close out his 16th professional season. At 38 years of age, the wily veteran remains one of the best at his position. How much longer will Prater be able to get one over on Father Time?
Anyone who watched the Cardinals play this year would have to agree that Prater shouldn’t entertain any thought of retiring. In 12 appearances, the experienced journeyman connected on 22 of his 25 field-goal tries, and made good on all 16 of his extra-point attempts. Those numbers are exceptional, especially when you factor in what Prater dealt with this past fall.
Matt Prater excelled for Arizona Cardinals after returning from hip injury
Retirement talk began to be directed at Prater after the two-time Pro Bowler missed four out of Arizona’s first 10 contests with a hip injury. The Ohio native ignored the speculation and was back in uniform for a Week 11 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. What Prater has managed to accomplish since his improbable return has been incredibly impressive to say the least.
Over the past three weeks, the resurgent Prater showed the football world that he still possesses one of the NFL’s strongest kicking legs. The former University of Central Florida product made good on field goals from 57, 56, 53, 50 and 55 yards out. Does that sound like the accomplishments of an athlete who’s a mere 19 months away from his 40th birthday?
There’s now one game left to play, and there’s no reason to think that the Cards won’t be interested in re-signing the prospective unrestricted free agent. There are many people who believe that age is just a number. In Prater’s case, they may be right.
(Statistics provided by Pro Football Reference)
Want your voice heard? Join the Raising Zona team!