Patriots Practice Notes: Stephen Gostkowski, Ben Watson Absent; New Wideout Arrives


October 2, 2019

FOXBORO, Mass. — Two prominent New England Patriots veterans were curiously absent from Wednesday’s practice.

Neither kicker Stephen Gostkowski nor tight end Ben Watson was spotted during the brief portion of practice that was open to reporters.

It’s not rare to see Patriots specialists work on a separate field during practice, but they typically do this as a unit. Punter Jake Bailey and long snapper Joe Cardona both warmed up with the rest of the team.

Before practice, head coach Bill Belichick addressed a report indicting the Patriots planned to work out multiple free agent kickers Wednesday. Gostkowski has struggled this season with four missed extra points in his last three games, but Belichick said the workouts were not “related to competition.”

Perhaps the 35-year-old Gostkowski, who made a tackle on a kickoff during Sunday’s 16-10 win over the Buffalo Bills, is dealing with an injury.

Watson’s absence also was notable. The 38-year-old tight end was eligible to return to practice Wednesday after serving a four-game PED suspension. It’s unclear why he was not present.

Newly re-signed safety Jordan Richards practiced wearing No. 39. The No. 37 Richards wore during his first Patriots stint now belongs to rookie running back Damien Harris.

An unidentified new receiver wearing No. 17 also made his Patriots practice debut. This player likely was added to fill the open spot on New England’s practice squad.

The 4-0 Patriots are preparing to visit the 0-4 Washington Redskins this Sunday in Week 5 of the NFL season.

Thumbnail photo via Dale Zanine/USA TODAY Sports Images
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