Patriots Veterans Get Demoted After Week 1 Loss

Getty Brian Hoyer

The moves might be temporary, but both K Nick Folk and QB Brian Hoyer were sent back to the practice squad on Monday after the New England Patriots‘ crushing 17-16 loss to the Miami Dolphins in Week 1, per the official NFL wire.

Both Folk and Hoyer were active for Sunday’s game with the former playing and drilling three field goals in the loss. Something tells me this back-and-forth dance might continue most of the season.

Both Players Are Likely to Be On This Merry Go Round All Year

COVID-19 brought forth more flexible rules with practice squads to help allow teams to handle potential issues with player availability. Many teams–including the Patriots–have use the flexibility to their benefit in other ways.

Expanded practice squads gives teams an opportunity to hide veterans while elevating young players to the 53-man roster to prevent other teams from poaching them. Rookie undrafted free agent kicker Quinn Nordin might have been on the radar of a kicker-needy team.

Clearly, the Patriots believe they have a young player who can be valuable to them in the future, and even insurance for Folk should he get injured or struggle.

Folk will be 37 in November and Nordin turned 23 last month. While Folk has been solid for the Patriots the last 2 seasons, there is no question which kicker the Patriots feel the most comfortable with in the future.

Nordin has elite leg strength and the Patriots seem to believe in him.

Hoyer has pretty good job security as Mac Jones’ unofficial mentor. Hoyer has spent so many seasons as a backup in the Patriots’ system that he knows it as well as anyone not named Tom Brady or Josh McDaniels.

There probably isn’t a better player to serve as the second voice to McDaniels for a rookie quarterback. Because of both Folk and Hoyer’s situation, I wouldn’t expect either man to be inactive when the Patriots take the field for their Week 2 matchup against the New York Jets.

Patriots 2021 Schedule the Rest of the Way

  • Week 2 – at New York Jets at 1pm ET – CBS – September 19
  • Week 3 – New Orleans Saints at 1pm ET – FOX – September 26
  • Week 4 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 8:20 pm ET – NBC – October 3
  • Week 5 – at Houston Texans at 1pm ET – CBS – October 10
  • Week 6 – Dallas Cowboys at 4:25 pm ET – CBS – October 17
  • Week 7 – New York Jets at 1pm ET – CBS – October 24
  • Week 8 – at Los Angeles Chargers at 4:05 pm ET – CBS – October 31
  • Week 9 – at Carolina Panthers at 1 pm ET – CBS – November 7
  • Week 10 – Cleveland Browns at 1 pm ET – CBS – November 14
  • Week 11 – at Atlanta Falcons at 8:20 pm ET – FOX/NFL Network/Amazon – November 18
  • Week 12 – Tennessee Titans at 1 pm ET – CBS – November 28
  • Week 13 – at Buffalo Bills at 8:15 pm ET – ESPN – December 6
  • Week 14 – Bye Week 
  • Week 15 – at Indianapolis Colts Time TBA – December 18
  • Week 16 – Jacksonville Jaguars at 1 pm ET – CBS – January 2
  • Week 17 – at Miami Dolphins at 1 pm ET – CBS – January 9

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