Ex-Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski could return to NFL in 2022


Former NFL kicker Stephen Gostkowski hasn't played this season, but that doesn't mean his pro football career has officially concluded.

ESPN's Mike Reiss recently spoke to Gostkowski, who explained that if does attempt to play again, it probably won't happen before the 2021 season ends because of a Coxsackie viral infection he fought earlier this year.

"That was kind of right in the beginning of the middle of the season when I had a semi-itch to play," Gostkowski told Reiss.

"It was tough because I was getting in decent shape, but then you can't work out. I couldn't do much other than walk. So I don't think right now would be the right time; I'm not in good enough shape. But I'm not closing the door of never playing again. It's just not in my immediate future.”

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Gostkowski played 14 seasons with the Patriots from 2006 through 2020. He helped New England win three Super Bowl titles and was consistently one of the top players at his position during that span.

Injuries forced him to miss all but four games in 2019 and he was eventually released by the Patriots in March of 2020. Gostkowski signed with the Tennessee Titans and played 15 games last season, but he struggled on field goals, connecting on just 18 of 26 attempts.


If healthy, Gostkowski still could be an upgrade for several teams. He has loads of experience kicking in playoff games and bad weather.