The Buccaneers placed Folk, who had been experiencing tendinitis in the knee of his (left) plant leg, on injured reserve Monday, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times reports. The injury is only a minor concern for Folk and likely wouldn't have affected his availability for the Buccaneers' Week 6 matchup with the Cardinals, but the move to IR will delay his inevitable release after the team signed Patrick Murray in a corresponding move to serve as its new placekicker. Folk lost the gig after missing three field goals in Tampa Bay's Week 5 loss to the New England, which came after he misfired on a pair of field goals and extra points across the team's first three contests of the season. Once Folk is deemed healthy, he'll be released off injured reserve and become eligible to sign elsewhere, but the accuracy issues he's displayed to date may limit the interest of other teams.
The Buccaneers won't release Folk any earlier than Monday, when they have four kickers scheduled to come in for workouts, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports. The move may not officially happen until after the weekend, but it feels inevitable after Folk missed all three of his field-goal attempts in Thursday's 19-14 loss to the Patriots. From a performance standpoint, Folk has been the worst kicker in the NFL this season, missing five field goals and a pair of extra points in four games. Given the Bucs' offensive talent, Folk's replacement could emerge as a useful fantasy option.
Folk missed field-goal attempts from 56, 49 and 31 yards in Thursday's 19-14 loss to the Patriots. He converted both of his extra-point tries to finish with two points on the night. Folk was shaky in Week 4 against the Giants before nailing a game-winning field goal, but there was no such redemption Thursday. His first miss, which came just before halftime, was certainly tolerable considering the distance, but the other pair of misfires were difficult to swallow in the Bucs' narrow loss. Folk's 49-yard try came early in the fourth quarter with the Bucs trailing 16-7, while the 31-yard chip shot with 5:39 remaining that immediately went wide left ensured that an 11-play, 84-yard march went for naught. With three misses from 40-to-49 yards in the last two games, Folk is just 2-for-5 from a distance that head coach Dirk Koetter has repeatedly emphasized he expects his kickers to be nearly automatic from. The extended layoff before a Week 6 tilt against the Cardinals gives the Bucs a chance to audition competition for the placekicking job at a minimum -- if not jettison Folk outright -- although Koetter remained thoroughly noncommital about the issue immediately following the game, according to Jenna Laine of ESPN.com.
Folk made field goals of 20 and 34 yards -- the latter serving as the game-winning kick -- and missed from 46 and 49 yards in Sunday's 25-23 win over the Giants. He also made one of two extra-point attempts. Folk invoked unpleasant memories of 2016 second-round pick Roberto Aguayo with Sunday's struggles, particularly considering both of his field-goal misses came from the 40-49-yard range that often bedeviled the latter during his rookie campaign. Folk's first miss, the 46-yard try that went wide right, scuttled an opportunity to extend the Bucs' lead to 16-0 in the second quarter, while the second misfire, wide right from 49 yards out in the third period, squandered a chance for them to make it a two-possession game. The veteran certainly has enough NFL skins on the wall to earn some slack, but he's now notably missed a pair of extra points as well, equaling his total in that category for all of 2016 while with the Jets. The rough day Sunday may simply prove to be an outlier, and Folk certainly atoned for the struggles by making the game-winning kick, even though it came dangerously close to missing left.
Folk converted a field goal of 40 yards and made both of his extra-point attempts in Sunday's 34-17 loss to the Vikings. The veteran kicker has been flawless on field goals through the first two games and counts an extra-point miss in last week's opener as his only mistake. Folk's extensive body of work points toward the likelihood of a high-percentage tally on field goals and close to 100 percent accuracy on extra points, and the Bucs offense should give plenty of opportunities for both over the course of the season.
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