FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The New England Patriots will be without veteran kicker Nick Folk for Sunday night’s road game against the Houston Texans after he underwent an appendectomy, a league source confirmed.
CLSN Media first reported Folk’s status, which isn’t expected to sideline him much beyond this week.
The Patriots are expected to sign veteran kicker Kai Forbath to fill-in for Folk, a source told ESPN’s Field Yates.
Forbath previously worked out for the team and was a finalist to earn the job after Stephen Gostkowski went to injured reserve. Forbath kicked in three games for the Jaguars last season. He was the Vikings’ full-time kicker in 2017 when he made a career-high 32 field goals. He lost the job to then-rookie Daniel Carlson in the 2018 preseason.
Forbath, 32, was 4-of-5 for the Jaguars, and 3-of-3 on extra points.
The Patriots had been deciding on whether to sign another kicker for that short-term period, or use rookie punter Jake Bailey in that role.
Bailey was a field-goal kicker at Santa Fe Christian High School in California, where he was 12-of-16 as a senior. He went on to Stanford, where he finished his career in 2018 as the school’s all-time leader in punting average (43.81).
Bailey has been the Patriots’ holder on field goals this year, so if the team had elected to use him as its kicker, quarterbacks Tom Brady and Jarrett Stidham would have been top candidates to fill the holder role.
The Patriots have managed a challenging situation at kicker this year. Gostkowski was placed on season-ending injured reserve (hip) after Week 4.
Veteran Mike Nugent won the job Oct. 3 after the team held a two-day tryout with free agents. He was released Oct. 29 after going 5-of-8 on field goals and 15-of-16 on extra points.
Folk was signed Oct. 30 and is 7-of-9 on field goals and 3-of-3 on extra points.