The New England Patriots made a roster move on Wednesday. They re-signed placekicker Tristan Vizcaino to the practice squad.
He will replace rookie defensive lineman LaBryan Ray, who was placed on the injured list. Vizcaino is now beginning his third stint with the Patriots this year as the team has signed, cut, and resigned him twice as they juggle their practice squad.
Nick Folk has taken all the live reps in games at kicker this season. Still, Bill Belichick is keeping a second kicker available on the practice squad, much like he did the last two years with Justin Rohrwasser, Quinn Nordin, and Roberto Aguayo.
It would be a major surprise to see Vizcaino get any of the kicking duties on Sunday when the Patriots take on the New York Jets. During his professional career, Vizcaino has played for the Los Angeles Chargers, Cincinnati Bengals, and others.
His longest stint came with the Chargers in 2021, when he played in six games. He converted six of seven field goal attempts but ran into some unexpected difficulties with extra points. Vizcaino missed five of them with the Chargers, leading to his release.
Up to now, he hasn’t had another opportunity to be a starting kicker. The only way he’ll get that chance with the Patriots is if Folk is injured or falls apart over the next couple of weeks.
Folk has converted 10 of the 12 field goal attempts he’s had this year which has his percentage slightly lower than where it has been the last few years in New England. Still, the 37-year-old appears to be about as consistent as they come in the league.
Are the Patriots Going to Make a Move Before Nov. 1?
The NFL Trade deadline is on November 1. Several teams have already made splashy moves. The Philadelphia Eagles acquired defensive end Robert Quinn from the Chicago Bears for a fourth-round pick.
The San Francisco 49ers snagged Christian McCaffrey from the Carolina Panthers for four draft picks, and the Jets added running back James Robinson from the Jacksonville Jaguars after they lost star rookie Breece Hall to a torn ACL.
Will the Patriots make a deal, and will they be buyers or sellers if they do?
It might depend on what happens in Sunday’s game against the Jets. If the Patriots fall to 3-5 and 0-2 in the AFC East, you’d have to believe their chances of making the playoffs have taken a significant hit. That would more than likely make them sellers.
If they win and get back to .500 overall and in the division, they might be inclined to see themselves as potential contenders in the division. Watch to see what happens against the Jets, as it may tell us if New England plans to get involved with the trading scene on Monday.
Who’s Next For the Patriots?
Mac Jones appears to be set to start on Sunday against the Jets, and he’d better be ready. These aren’t the same Jets he and the Patriots beat twice in 2021.
The improved secondary, led by rookie Sauce Gardner has been a problem for the opposition through the first seven weeks of the season. They are tied for third in the NFL with eight interceptions. If Jones isn’t careful, he may only add to the Patriots’ current muddy QB situation.