Sports

Matthew Slater plays traffic cop on kickoffs for Patriots

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FOXBOROUGH — Matthew Slater confirmed to the Globe Friday he has never been a traffic cop, and never spent one single shift as a nightclub doorman, hand-selecting with an experienced eye the lucky few who get to walk past the velvet rope.

OK, it might be a stretch, but it says here that Slater holds a similar job with the Patriots, using his hands and decision-making skills to determine whether the kickoff returner lined up behind him gets to come out of the end zone with the ball or take a touchback.

If Slater determines that the kickoff should be brought out, he’ll give the returner the green light. Lately, that’s been rookie Josh Boyce, who had a 41-yard return last Sunday in Houston, the team’s longest this season. But if Slater, the Patriots’ special teams captain, concludes that taking it out would be too risky, he’ll step in front of the return man and put up a hand. S-T-O-P.

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