The New England Patriots are eyeing some special teams contingency plans ahead of their showdown with Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it appears.
The Patriots hosted two kickers -- Riley Patterson and Brett Maher -- and two long snappers -- Turner Bernard and Ryan Langan -- for workouts at Gillette Stadium on Thursday, according to the NFL transaction wire.
Starting kicker Nick Folk is a perfect 9-for-9 on field goal attempts this season and 3-for-4 on extra point attempts, but has been limited in practice this week due to a left knee injury. Backup Quinn Nordin is on injured reserve with an abdomen injury, so Patterson and Maher could be potential emergency options if Folk can't suit up.
Maher has bounced between eight different NFL teams since signing with the New York Jets in 2013 and also spent four years in the CFL. His only NFL game action came with the Dallas Cowboys in 2018 and 2019, and he hit 74.2% of his field goals (49 for 66) during that span.
Patterson has yet to kick at the NFL level since signing with the Minnesota Vikings in May as an undrafted free agent out of Memphis. He hit 64 of 83 field goal attempts (77.1%) over four seasons at Memphis.
Neither Bernard nor Langan have NFL experience and would be depth pieces behind starting long snapper Joe Cardona, who has played all three games so far this season.
Kickoff for Patriots-Bucs is set for 8:20 p.m. ET on Sunday night.