Patriots Anticipate ‘An Adjustment’ With Stephen Gostkowski Out For Year

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FOXBORO, Mass. — It’s been nine years since anyone other than Stephen Gostkowski kicked for the New England Patriots.

Gostkowski was placed on injured reserve Wednesday and is out for the season, meaning the Patriots will need a new kicker. They reportedly worked out Kai Forbath and Mike Nugent, among others, on Wednesday.

Few players in the Patriots locker room are left from the 2010 season when Shayne Graham took over kicking duties for Gostkowski. Special teams captains Matthew Slater is one of those players still kicking around, and he doesn’t remember it being a seamless transition.

“It was an adjustment,” Slater said. “Shayne Graham came in and kicked for us, and certainly Stephen’s a unique guy in this league. You don’t play for one team for 14 years unless you are. So, it was a little bit of an adjustment. Obviously operationally on field goals, it will be different. We’ll see how kickoffs go.

“It’s going to be an adjustment, but whatever coach decides to do, I’m sure will be what he sees will be best for the football team moving forward. We’ll make the best of it.”

The Patriots could hand kickoff duties to punter Jake Bailey rather than the new kicker who is brought in.

“He’s definitely done a good job with everything we’ve asked him to do,” Slater said Wednesday. “Stephen’s handled most of the kickoff duties this year, all of it thus far. But (Bailey’s) more than capable, he did it in college. But what we do moving forward, I don’t know what we’re going to do nor is that my decision. I’m just out there to cover the kicks when that time comes.”

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