Four weeks into the season, one of the biggest question marks on the New England Patriots’ roster loomed at the kicker position. Veteran Stephen Gostkowski had missed at least one field goal or extra point in three consecutive games. And entering Week 5, the 2006 draft choice out of Memphis was 7-of-8 on field goal attempts and 11-of-15 on extra points.
However, it appears Gostkowski may not have been at full strength.
The Patriots officially placed the 35-year-old on injured reserve Wednesday, as first reported by the Boston Globe’s Jim McBride.
It is a left hip injury for Gostkowski, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, that will require season-ending surgery.
Gostkowski is the fourth player to land on New England’s IR since September began. And while rookie punter Jake Bailey might be able to do kickoffs — he did it at Stanford — placekicking is a different animal that will need to be tackled. The Patriots had a handful of kickers in for workouts Wednesday, and the expectation is one of whom will end up replacing Gostkowski on the Patriots’ active roster.
The list included Kai Forbath, Mike Nugent, Blair Walsh, Elliott Fry and Matthew Wright, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.
Gostkowski has appeared in every game for the Patriots dating back to the start of the 2011 campaign, and checks in as the roster’s second-longest-tenured member.