Why Patriots Will Have Two Kickers On Roster For Bills Game

The Patriots made two practice squad elevations Thursday


Dec 1, 2022

FOXBORO, Mass. — The Patriots called in an additional specialist for their primetime matchup with the Buffalo Bills.

New England elevated kicker Tristan Vizcaino from the practice squad ahead of Thursday’s game at Gillette Stadium, giving them two kickers on their gameday roster. Expect Vizcaino to handle kickoffs while veteran Nick Folk serves as the placekicker for field goals and extra points.

Folk’s leg strength hasn’t cut it on kickoffs since he took over those duties from injured punter Jake Bailey, with just one of his 10 attempts over the last two games resulting in a touchback. New punter Michael Palardy has kicked off in the past, but head coach Bill Belichick evidently prefers Vizcaino, who notched touchbacks on four of his six kickoffs during a one-game cameo for the Arizona Cardinals earlier this season.

The 36-year-old Folk is 24-for-28 on field-goal attempts and 23-for-24 on extra points this season, with two of his misses coming in New England’s windswept Week 11 win over the New York Jets. Wind again could be a factor Thursday night, with gusts around 15 mph expected at kickoff.

The Patriots also elevated practice squad guard Bill Murray for additional offensive line depth. Murray was elevated twice previously but has yet to play his first regular-season snap. NFL rules allow teams to elevate players a maximum of three times, so in order to use Murray again this season, New England would need to sign him to the 53-man roster.

Kickoff is set for 8:15 p.m. ET.

Thumbnail photo via Eric Canha/USA TODAY Sports Images
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