The Patriots early season kicking woes have reached a tipping point, as their long time kicker Stephen Gostkowski has just been placed on IR.
Gostkowski has had a rough season thus far, having missed 4 XPs and 1 FG through 4 games.
The Patriots reportedly were trying out kickers yesterday, a sign that they might be looking for a change at the position, but maybe this was a sign that their veteran kicker was injured.
This is not the first time Gostkowski has been injured during his career.
In 2010, Gostkowski suffered what was called a thigh injury during a game against Cleveland, and was unable to finish the game; fun fact for the day: his replacement that Sunday? Wes Welker.
It was soon announced he tore his quad, and he was placed on IR; New England proceeded to sign veteran kicker Shayne Graham to finish the year.
With the new rules for IR, this does not mean Gostkowski’s season is over.
Players can return from IR after 8 weeks on the list, assuming they’re healthy enough at the time; however, teams can only have two players return from that list in a season.
This will lead to some major decisions for the Patriots, as they have 4 key players on IR: James Develin, N’Keal Harry, Isaiah Wynn, and Gostkowski.
The earliest Harry could return as early as Week 9, while Develin and Wynn can return for Week 11 at the earliest; Gostkowski would not be eligible to return until Week 13.
I don’t believe we will see Gostkowski back this season.
The team could use another body at WR and help blocking more at this time, and these are issues that could be even more apparent by Week 13, especially in Weeks 11 and 12 the team will play Philadelphia and Dallas.
Say Harry returns in Week 9, would the team risk not having Wynn come back for two crucial games during the middle of the season in order to be able to have Gostkowski come back in Week 13? I can’t see it.
Plus, we do not yet know the severity of this injury, as he simply could just be out for the season.
It remains to be seen who will replace Gostkowski, but if the team wants to stay internal… they could.
Jake Bailey was a field goal kicker in high school, and although he did not kick field goals in college, he certainly has the leg to do so… maybe Belichick can save a roster spot and have Bailey do both… I doubt it, but stranger things have happened.
This season is reminding me more and more of 2015… lets just hope this season ends better than that.
Wishing you a speedy recovery, Stephen.
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