Patriots

Bill Belichick leaves door open for Nick Folk to be Patriots’ Week 1 kicker

Folk was the Patriots' kicker in 2020 but is currently on the practice squad.

Nick Folk could be the Patriots' Week 1 kicker. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

The Patriots could be making some more roster moves ahead of their season-opening matchup against the Dolphins on Sunday.

Rookie Quinn Nordin is the only kicker on the Patriots’ 53-man roster even after having a shaky performance in the preseason. Veteran Nick Folk, who kicked for the Patriots last season, is currently on the practice squad.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick was asked Friday if he’d elevate Folk to the 53-man roster prior to Sunday’s game. Belichick didn’t shut down the possibility.

“I think there’s a lot of merit to it,” Belichick said. “That’s why he’s on the practice squad, and, as all the players are, with the two standard activations that teams are allowed to have, that’s a lot different than it was going back to ‘19 where it was a whole different set of rules.

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“There’s certainly more flexibility, and I feel like right now we have two good kickers combined in our total roster, and, to me, that’s a good thing.”

Folk impressed in his second season with the Patriots in 2020. He made 26-of-28 field goals, including making all of his field goals within 39 yards and missing just one field goal within 49 yards. Folk also showed up in the clutch, making game-winning field goals as time expired in wins over the Jets and Cardinals.

The Patriots re-signed Folk to a one-year deal in the offseason, but placed him on the practice squad when the roster was cut down to 53 players in August. Folk dealt with an undisclosed injury during training camp and the preseason, saying he was dealing with “a little bit of soreness.” Folk did kick in the Patriots’ preseason finale, making his lone field goal attempt.

Nordin, an undrafted rookie from Michigan, went 6-for-9 on field-goal attempts during the preseason, making a 50-yard field goal in Week 1. His biggest struggles came on extra-point attempts, in which he made 4-of-7.

With the NFL’s practice squad promotion rules, the Patriots can call up to two players from their practice squad the day before the game. With Mac Jones being the lone quarterback on the Patriots’ 53-man roster, Brian Hoyer appears to be the likely candidate for the other call-up spot.

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Any players called up from the practice squad the day before the game revert back to the practice squad after the game.

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