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Patriots Unfiltered Q&A: Week 1 is here!

Fan questions answered in this week's Patriots Unfiltered mailbag.


Do you think there is any chance of New England acquiring a WR like Alshon Jeffrey? Dennis Taveres

The Patriots could use all the help they can get at the wide receiver position. Jeffrey's height along with his ability to out leap defenders makes him an interesting complement to Cam Newton. The problem with Jeffery is that he's been hurt. He is currently recovering from a Lisfranc injury that he sustained in 2019. Jeffery began training camp on PUP, and it does not sound like he is game ready just yet. Prior to the Lisfranc injury that ended Jeffery's 2019 season early, the wide receiver battled through calf injuries in 2018. While signing just about any receiver would boost the Patriots offense, when it comes to Jeffery, health remains a concern. Megan O'Brien

Derek Rivers has been in the system for a while but has missed time due to injury. As a potential pass-rusher, how did he look this camp? Tim Petriccia

Rivers had an impressive camp. After missing all of the 2019 season due to injury, Rivers emergence during 2020 camp was certainly a bright spot. He seemed to move well and looks ready to contribute. When the team initially cut the roster down to 80 players before the official start of training camp, many thought Rivers could become victim to the cut down. Not only did Rivers survive the initial cut to 80 players, but he survived the cut down to the 53-man roster. It's clear that the Patriots are still invested in the former second round pick. Given the lack of depth in the front seven, Rivers will have an opportunity to be a contributing role player. Megan O'Brien

Do you think the Patriots will trade for a wide receiver before the start of the regular season? Keith Nelson

It doesn't seem likely that the Patriots will trade for a wide out before Sunday's home opener. It's clear the team is entering the season very thin in the weapons department. This was a problem in 2019 and remains a problem in 2020. For now, it looks like the Patriots are going to begin the season with what they have and hope that the combination of Harry, Edelman, and Byrd complemented by pass catching running backs and tight end contributions will be enough. It would not be a surprise to see the Patriots target a wide receiver as the season progresses, but for now, it seems like the team will wait and see. Megan O'Brien

I noticed on the Patriots final 53-man roster that they failed to keep a kicker. Who will the Patriots use as their kicker? Larry Pearce

The kicker position has become one of the most intriguing story lines of the early 2020 season. Rohrwasser had an inconsistent camp, and it became clear that Folk had a leg up on the rookie once he resigned with the Patriots. Ultimately, after clearing waivers, both players ended up on the practice squad. It is likely that Folk will be promoted to the 53-man roster prior to Sunday's game against the Dolphins, but it is important to remember that with this year's new practice squad rules, up to two practice squad members can be promoted as 54th and 55th men on the roster on game day, then return to the practice squad without being exposed to waivers. Each player can do this twice. Megan O'Brien

With the NFL expanding the practice squad this year, how does the call up from the practice squad work? Can players be switched back and forth from the 53-man roster to the practice squad without clearing waivers? Bryant Smeeth

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, the NFL planned on increasing the practice squad to 12 players. However, given the circumstances this season, the practice squad increased to 16 players. Six of those spots can be occupied by veterans that previously were not eligible to be on the practice squad. The other ten spots can be taken up by any player with less than two full seasons accrued. Any player placed on the practice squad must clear NFL waivers, but this season there is a new caveat: A team can designate up to four players as "protected." This prevents other teams from signing specific players off a team's practice squad. In a "normal" season, any practice squad player can be signed to a different team at any time. In addition to this new practice squad rule, this year, NFL teams will be allowed to promote two of their practice squad players each week on game day, as special 54th and 55th men on the active roster. Those players are then eligible to return to the practice squad the next day without exposing them to the usual waiver process. This can happen up to twice with each practice squad player. Megan O'Brien

What do you think the Patriots saw in Rohrwasser to make him stand out over the other kickers in this year's draft class? David Beckett

We'll never know the definitive answer to this question, but the fact that Rohrwasser has experience kicking in New England weather likely made him stand out. Kicking in New England is different, given the conditions. Having a kicker that has had success kicking in New England during the winter was likely attractive to the Patriots. Megan O'Brien

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