BOSTON (CBS) — The Patriots may not have a kicker on their roster, but now they have two on their practice squad. The Patriots filled up their practice squad on Sunday, taking full advantages of the changes made to the squad for the 2020 season.
New England signed 16 players to its practice squad, up from the usual 10 that the NFL allows. All 16 players had been cut on Saturday as the Patriots trimmed their roster to 53 players.
That includes veteran kicker Nick Folk and rookie Justin Rohrwasser. Chances are one of them (likely Folk) will be on the team’s active roster come Sunday for New England’s Week 1 matchup with the Miami Dolphins. Usually, Folk wouldn’t be permitted to join a practice squad, as they were limited to players with less than three years of experience. But again, the rules have changed a bit for the 2020 season.
“[Folk’s] done a good job, hit the ball well. Justin has as well. Certainly there’s a big experience gap here, but that’s not uncommon either,” Bill Belichick said of his two kickers on Monday. “We’re fortunate we have two players at that position that I’d say are NFL quality.”
#Patriots HC Bill Belichick was asked by @MikeReiss about Nick Folk – who is on the practice squad along with 5th round draft pick Justin Rohrwasser. Interesting answer about kicking in NE and about #NFL depth BB feels they have. #wbz @wbz
— Dan Roche (@RochieWBZ) September 7, 2020
Another change to the practice squad is teams can promote two players to play on game day, which the Patriots will take full advantage of throughout the season.
Here is the full list of players signed to the New England practice squad:
TE Rashod Berry
DL Tashawn Bower
DB Myles Bryant
TE Jake Burt
K Nick Folk
LB Terez Hall
LB Cassh Maluia
DL Bill Murray
TE Paul Quessenberry
K Justin Rohrwasser
DB D’Angelo Ross
WR Devin Ross
RB J.J. Taylor
DL Nick Thurman
DL Xavier Williams
WR Isaiah Zuber
Both Ross and Zuber had impressive showings in camp, but faded a bit late. Now they’ll have another chance to join the Patriots offense should it need a little help at wide receiver. Ross was on the New England practice squad last season.
Burt, a Lynfield native who played at St. John’s Prep and Boston College, is back to provide some depth behind fellow rookie tight ends Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene and veteran Ryan Izzo.
Maluia, a sixth-round pick by New England, will get a chance to develop on the practice squad.
You can watch the Patriots kick off their 2020 season Sunday on WBZ-TV — the home of the New England Patriots! Coverage begins Friday night at 7 p.m. with Patriots All Access and kicks off Sunday at 11:30 a.m. with Patriots GameDay. The Patriots and the Dolphins square off at 1 p.m., and stick to WBZ-TV after the game for Cam Newton’s first postgame press conference on Patriots 5th Quarter!