It might be hard to believe given the whole Mac Jones debacle the last few years, but the New England Patriots have had a notoriously short leash when it comes to young players.

They’re proving it with Chad Ryland.

It’s been a tough week for Ryland, who missed a game-tying field goal attempt in the Patriots’ loss to the New York Giants on Sunday. The 35-yard try came with just six seconds remaining, and should be an automatic make for someone being paid to kick footballs.

He missed it, though, and it’s prompted New England to send a message.

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The Patriots held a large workout Tuesday that primarily included kickers and other special teamers, according to Aaron Wilson of KPRC Houston. The group that visited Foxboro, Mass., included kickers B.T. Potter, Tanner Brown, Matthew Wright, Parker White and John Parker Romo.

It was also reported that kicker Matthew McCrane worked out, according to Mike Reiss of ESPN. New England also worked out long snappers Dalton Godfrey and Carson Tinker, punters Ty Zentner, Corliss Waitman and Michael Turk and returners Kaylon Geiger, Kalil Pimpleton and Matthew Sexton.

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In his time at the helm in New England, Bill Belichick has made players earn their way onto the field. The Patriots don’t give out spots, they give out opportunities to earn them, which looks like it will once again be the case for Ryland. Ryland was selected in the fourth round of the 2023 NFL Draft and beat out Nick Folk for the starting job.

It’s unlikely the Patriots cut Ryland, but there is a path to prevent him from seeing the field this season while holding onto him for next season. New England has an open spot on its practice squad, meaning they could add a kicker and elevate them three times to stash Ryland for a bit.

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It could also serve as a wake-up call for the rookie kicker, who is 12 for 18 on the season.

Featured image via Kevin R. Wexler/USA TODAY NETWORK Images