BOSTON (CBS) — Nick Folk has been missing from Patriots practices for several weeks with an unknown ailment. The veteran kicker picked a good time to return.

Folk was present for the start of Patriots practice on Monday, indicating he’s making progress in his journey back to the field.

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For the Patriots, that may be a necessary development. After undrafted rookie kicker Quinn Nordin looked impressive in his preseason debut vs. Washington, he was borderline disastrous last week in Philadelphia. Nordin missed a 36-yard field goal and two PATs, going 1-for-2 on field goals and 2-for-4 on PATs in the 35-0 Patriots win.

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Folk joined the Patriots in 2019, after Stephen Gostkowksi got injured. Folk went 14-for-17 on field goals and 12-for-12 on PATs, which was enough to convince the Patriots to stick with him over Gostkowski in 2020. And in that 2020 season, Folk was excellent, successfully kicking 26 of his 28 field goal attempts. He went 2-for-3 on field goals of 50-plus yards, and 11-for-12 in the 40-49-yard range. He was also 30-for-33 on PATs, and he kicked game-winning field goals vs. the Jets and Cardinals.

Belichick was asked about Nordin the day after Thursday’s preseason game.

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“I think when you go through any player’s performance in the preseason and really in any game, player or coach, they’re always some good plays and then some plays that we’d all like to have back. I thought Quinn did a good job of rebounding there in the second half, came back and hit the ball well, but obviously a big part of everybody’s game and certainly the specialist’s game is consistency,” Belichick said. “And so, let’s say that we’ve seen a little bit of that from all the specialists in the first two preseason games. We’re all obviously working for more consistency and especially when you have a three-man operation there with a snapper, a holder and a kicker, then there’s an element of that. We’ll keep working through it and see where it goes.”

CBSBoston.com Staff