HOUSTON — Kai Forbath played his first game as a New England Patriot on Sunday night. Whether he’ll get another remains to be seen.
Just two days after officially signing with the team, the veteran kicker made his Patriots debut in a 28-22 loss to the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. He drilled his one field-goal attempt (a 23-yard chip shot) and went 1-for-2 on extra points.
New England brought Forbath — the fourth kicker they’ve employed this season — aboard after Nick Folk underwent an emergency appendectomy this week. Folk had replaced an ineffective Mike Nugent, who relieved an injured Stephen Gostkowski.
“Fortunately and unfortunately, I’ve done this before where you get a late call and come in mid-week,” Forbath told NESN.com after the game. “And I’d done two workouts with different teams (Carolina and Tennessee) this week. That’s the highest pressure besides that game, doing those workouts, so I think I had a good work week — those workouts, plus with these guys. I got a lot of good reps (in practice) on Friday, so I felt comfortable (Sunday).”
The Patriots are Forbath’s seventh NFL team. He’s appeared in regular-season games for the Washington Redskins, New Orleans Saints, Minnesota Vikings and Jacksonville Jaguars and also spent time with the Dallas Cowboys and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Sunday’s game, though, was Forbath’s first in 11 months and just his fourth in the last two seasons. Before the Patriots picked him up, the 32-year-old had been out of the league since Jacksonville released him this past February.
“It’s hard,” Forbath said of returning to game action. “It’s almost the endurance of staying ready throughout the whole game that kind of takes some getting used to. But kicking’s kicking, and I’ve been kicking for a long time, so it’s something that’ll keep getting better and better.”
Forbath’s lone miss Sunday came from 38 yards out after New England was penalized for delay of game on a two-point conversion attempt. His kick sailed wide left despite what he called a “perfect” snap and hold by Joe Cardona and Jake Bailey, respectively.
It’s unclear how Patriots will proceed at the kicker position.
Folk, who went 7-for-9 on field goals and 3-for-3 on extra points in his three-game stint, reportedly is expected to make a quick recovery, and as of Friday afternoon, he still had a stall in the team’s locker room despite being released. New England could opt to re-sign the 34-year-old journeyman ahead of this Sunday’s matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs or continue to roll with its current setup.
Forbath said he has not been informed of the team’s plans.
“I have no idea,” he said. “I’m taking it day by day.”
Thumbnail photo via Thomas B. Shea/USA TODAY Sports Images