Patriots Rookie Flopped Miserably In Training Camp

Getty Justin Rohrwasser

It appears the New England Patriots have one smart choice for kicker on their 53-man roster, and it’s not rookie Justin Ronrwasser. Despite the team using a fifth-round selection on the rookie out of Marshall, Rohrwasser has struggled to establish himself.

At this point, it looks as if the Patriots will likely go with veteran Nick Folk as their starter when the NFL season gets underway on September 13 against the AFC East rival Miami Dolphins.

The Boston Sports Journal’s Greg Bedard wrote:

Nick Folk might be your kicker, again: This might well have been the final practice open to the media and if it was, we might have seen the last of Justin Rohrwasser as a Patriots kicker … at least for a while. Despite using a fifth-round pick on the Marshall product, he has failed to deliver this camp and continues to be outperformed by veteran Nick Folk. Friday was the latest example as Rohrwasser was 2 of 5 inside the stadium, while Folk was 1 of 2 with his first miss of camp from 48 yards. Rohrwasser, who missed a game-winner at the buzzer from 49 yards, made from 48 and 33, was wide left (as a timeout was taken) from 51, and wide right from 51 after the timeout. If this marks the end of training camp and Monday brings the start of season prep, it’s hard to see Bill Belichick having much confidence in Rohrwasser.

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Injuries Have Played a Role in Rohrwasser’s Slide

While Rohrwasser’s inaccuracies have obviously been an issue, we cannot forget he’s been battling an injury since early in training camp. This injury forced him to miss most of the early reps, and it had a lot to do with the Patriots bringing Folk back.

At first, it seemed it may have just been as an insurance policy. Now, Folk’s presence has seemingly evolved into much more.

Nick Folk Hasn’t Been Spectacular, But…

If you want to know just how shaky Rohrwasser has been, consider this: Folk hasn’t exactly shown up and looked like the second coming of Justin Tucker or Greg Zuerlein. However, the Patriots are familiar with him because he was the team’s kicker most of 2019, they battled against him for years when Folk was a member of the New York Jets, and perhaps most of all, he’s been more consistent.

We often downplay the importance of kickers, but the fact is, they win and lose games for teams, and the Patriots have to put themselves in the best position to win close games.

Without an offense that figures to be a high-powered attack, the kicking game could be even more important than normal.

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