Jake Bailey may be handling kickoffs with Stephen Gostkowski on injured reserve


FOXBOROUGH -- Not only do the Patriots have a new kicker, they may also have a new kickoff man.

In wake of Stephen Gostkowski being placed on injured reserve, the team signed veteran Mike Nugent on Thursday to take his place on field goals and extra points, but then for kickoffs it seems that might be rookie punter Jake Bailey's job.

“Jake kicked off in preseason and he did it in college, so he’s ready and he’s excited," long-snapper Joe Cardona said. "He seems excited about the role and (is ready to go out and perform)."

Nugent has only been around for a day, but Cardona seems confident in the veteran.

“Mike is a complete professional. He’s played in this league for a long time," he said. "Obviously, made a lot of great kicks, so right now it is building chemistry and building it fast so we’re ready for Sunday.”

Cardona added: “Transitioning is always tough, but ultimately it’s a process for all of us. As a snapper, my ultimate goal is to ensure the kicker has as easy of a job as possible. We’re getting ready for Sunday and getting ready to go out on the field and do that.”

Nugent, 37, has kicked for eight teams, most recently the Raiders last season, but was placed on IR in September following suffering a hip injury in Week 3. In 2017, he split his season between the Bears and Cowboys. He hasn’t appeared in more than eight games since 2016 when he was with the Bengals, and he was 23-for-29 on field goals with six missed extra points.

Cardona also hit on the loss of Gostkowski.

“It’s really unfortunate," he said. "Steve is a leader on this team, someone who has obviously been great for a long time and made a lot of incredible kicks. We are going to miss having him around, but he’s going to get his body right to help us in the future.”