The New England Patriots don't have a kicker or an open roster spot as of Tuesday morning, so we should expect a couple moves before Sunday's much-anticipated Week 14 matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs at Gillette Stadium.
The Patriots waived kicker Kai Forbath on Monday, one day after he went 1-for-2 on extra points and 1-for-1 on field goal attempts during a 28-22 loss to the Houston Texans. Forbath was the fourth starting kicker the Patriots have used this season, but he's no longer in the picture.
So, what's the latest on the team's kicking situation?
"We have a few days to work that out, so we'll look at our options and do what we feel like is best for the team based on what our options are," Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said during a media conference call Tuesday. "I don't know exactly how that's going to go, but we'll see."
This has been a nightmare kicking season for the Patriots.
Stephen Gostkowski, who has served as the team's starting kicker since he was drafted in 2006, underwent season-ending hip surgery in October. Mike Nugent was signed to replace Gostkowski, but he lasted only four games after failing to impress. Nick Folk was signed to take over for Nugent, and he converted on seven of his nine field goal attempts and didn't miss any of his three extra point kicks through three games. The only two field goals he missed came in Week 12 versus the Dallas Cowboys amid harsh, rainy weather conditions in Foxboro.
Folk was released last week following an appendectomy. It reportedly was a minimally invasive procedure, so if he's able to return in the near future, bringing him back would be a smart move for the Patriots.
Solidifying the kicking game should be a priority for the Patriots as the playoffs approach. They rank No. 4 out of the six teams currently occupying an AFC playoff spot in field goals made from 40 yards or beyond. New England also has the second-worst extra-point percentage in the entire league at 83.3 -- only the Indianapolis Colts rank lower.
The team ahead of the Patriots in the race for the AFC's No. 1 seed is the Baltimore Ravens, and they have the league's best and most clutch kicker.
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