Bill Belichick jokingly suggested he may try to tempt Wes Welker out of retirement as the Patriots continue to search for a solution to their kicking issues.
The Pats boast a 10-2 record this season despite having to chop and change the identity of their kicker, using four different players in the role so far.
Stephen Gostkowski was the starter before being placed on injured reserve and, after Mike Nugent failed to successfully fill the void, Nick Folk’s spell with the team was cut short when he had an appendix operation.
Kai Forbath was on duty for the Week 13 defeat to the Houston Texans, kicking a field goal while landing one of his two extra-point attempts, but he was subsequently released on Monday.
While there are reports Folk may return to New England in time for Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs, they had still yet to have a recognised kicker on their roster early on Friday.
Asked about the situation in his news conference, Belichick said: “We will just have to see how it goes. We will go with what we’ve got, or… I don’t know, see how it goes.”
The Patriots head coach was then questioned over reports Folk is set to return, though when asked if an announcement was expected, he simply replied: “Nope”.
Punter Jake Bailey is an option having accepted the added responsibility of kick-off duties in Gostkowski’s absence, though Belichick seemed relaxed over the situation as he proposed the idea of a familiar face coming back to the team.
Welker’s name cropped up during the media session as the wide receiver was occasionally utilised as an emergency kicker during his NFL career – including slotting over an extra point for the Pats in 2010.
“We were talking about him the other day – maybe we can see if we can round him up,” Belichick jokingly said of Welker, who is now on the coaching staff at the San Francisco 49ers.
On a more serious note, he added: “If we lost three guys in any position it would be a problem.”