By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
The Patriots are reportedly making not one, but two moves at the kicker position. In addition to signing veteran free-agent kicker Mike Nugent, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that they are signing Younghoe Koo to the practice squad.
Koo, 25, played in four games for the Chargers in 2017 and went just 3-for-6 on field goal attempts. He most recently played for the Atlanta Legends in the now-defunct Alliance of American Football. He went 14-for-14 on field goal tries, but didn’t attempt a kick longer than 38 yards. He went 8-for-8 on field goals from 30-39 yards out.
Koo, whose first name is pronounced “YOUNG-way”, acts as an insurance move for the Patriots, who placed Stephen Gostkowski on injured reserve Wednesday amid reports that he needs season-ending surgery. Nugent, 37, will be the guy for now. The Patriots mark Nugent’s eighth NFL team.
Although he wasn’t tested over 40 yards in the AAF, perhaps Koo has improved his kicking since his last NFL experience. The Patriots obviously saw something they’re willing to work with and might view Koo as a potential long-term solution at kicker. Nugent is certainly just a veteran stopgap.
Gostkowski is signed for the 2020 season and is expected to be ready next summer after undergoing surgery for a reported hip injury that he tried to play through. But this situation is a major indication that Gostkowski’s viability as an NFL kicker could be coming to a close. If the Patriots don’t find their long-term answer at kicker before next season, that decision probably has to come relatively soon.
For now, they’ll have to hope that Nugent can do the job and do it in big moments down the road.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at email@example.com.