Patriots K Nick Folk had appendectomy, won't be available Sunday

Shalise Manza Young
·Yahoo Sports Columnist

The New England Patriots aren’t having a great week.

On Wednesday, eight players missed practice because of illness, with one other player limited. It’s not rare for teams to have a cluster of players fall ill around this time of year, but New England safety Devin McCourty noted that in his 10 years, this week is the worst he’s seen.

And the problems aren’t just flu or flu-like sickness.

Reports: Nick Folk had appendectomy

Mike Petraglia of CLNS Media reported on Thursday morning that kicker Nick Folk had an appendectomy early Thanksgiving morning and “will almost certainly be out” for Sunday’s game against the Houston Texans.

New England Patriots kicker Nick Folk reportedly had an appendectomy on Thursday. (AP/Gail Burton)
New England Patriots kicker Nick Folk reportedly had an appendectomy on Thursday. (AP/Gail Burton)

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport further reported that Folk’s surgery was done laparoscopically, which is a minimally invasive procedure and leads to a shorter recovery time. Folk, however, still won’t be available on Sunday.

Folk has played in three games for the Patriots and is 7-for-9 on field goals and 3-for-3 on extra points. His two misses were both last Sunday against Dallas, from 46 and 48 yards.

How will Patriots adjust?

Folk is the third kicker New England has played this season; Stephen Gostkowski was placed on injured reserve after Week 4 and underwent season-ending hip surgery.

The Patriots signed Mike Nugent after Gostkowski went on IR, but that didn’t last long: though he was 15-of-16 on extra points over four games, he was just 5-of-8 on field goals, including two misses in Week 8 against the Browns. He was cut after that game.

If Folk will only be out for one week, would the Patriots bring Nugent back since he has familiarity with holder Jake Bailey and long snapper Joe Cardona? Or could they go without a true kicker this week? We’ll find out soon enough.

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