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Patriot Maven Notebook: Mac Frost?? Bye-Bye Bower and More

The Patriots also hosted a kicker with practice squad-potential for a work out on Wednesday.

The New England Patriots have their attention squarely focused on Week Twelve and a matchup with the Tennessee Titans on Sunday at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts.

Currently sitting at 7-4 on the 2021 NFL Season, a win is of utmost importance for the Pats to maintain their momentum in contending for both the top spot in the division, and the conference.

From Thursday’s practice notes to a salute to our veterans, here are the latest Pats news and notes, courtesy of the Patriot Maven Notebook

Mac Frost?

Though Sunday’s weather forecast in Foxboro may call for sunny skies, game time temperatures may fall to just above freezing, or possibly below. As such, Patriots rookie quarterback Mac Jones is set to get his first feel of cold weather in New England.

Still, the 23-year-old remains undaunted in his approach to preparing for this Week Twelve matchup with the Tennessee Titans. Regardless of the conditions, Jones will be ready.

“I think just take each day day-by-day and try not to focus on it too much,” Jones told reporters on Wednesday. “[You] just wear whatever you're supposed to wear and take the advice from the older people that have played a lot in the cold. [I’m] just trying to figure it out. It's just another challenge, but you just have to look at it positively…as if it was raining or really windy or whatever the situation is. It's football, and you're going to have days where it's cold and days where it's. windy and days when it's raining, so you have to be ready for all situations.”

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As for his game day attire, Jones is unlikely to be donning a glove or scuba suit to help keep warm. Instead, he will opt for his own preferences for cold weather gear.

Patriots Work Out Ryan Santoso

The New England Patriots hosted kicker Ryan Santoso for a workout on Wednesday.

As kicker Nick Folk is still dealing with a left knee injury, the team may be in need of some help at the position, primarily on practice duty. The Patriots currently have three spots open on their practice squad.

Santoso first entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2018, signing with the Detroit Lions. In an interesting turn of events, the 26-year-old was waived by the Lions last week after rookie kicker Riley Patterson was signed by Detroit off the Patriots’ practice squad.

The University of Minnesota product has also played with the New York Giants, Carolina Panthers, Tennessee Titans and the Montreal Alouettes of the CFL. Having appeared in seven games throughout his NFL career to date, Santoso has connected on 4-of-5 field goals (his longest coming from 35 yards), while going 6-of-8 on extra points. He also has 32 career kickoffs, 21 of which resulted in touchbacks.

Bower to Join Vikings

Outside linebacker/defensive end Tashawn Bower is no longer a member of the Patriots’ practice squad. The 26 year-old has agreed to join the Minnesota Vikings’ 53-man roster.

Bower entered the league with Minnesota as an undrafted free agent in 2017. The 6-foot-5, 250-pound LSU product appeared in seven games to record seven tackles and his first career sack during his stay. He was waived from the non-football injury list after suffering a torn Achilles before joining the Patriots’ practice squad midway through the 2019 season.

Throughout his Patriots’ tenure, Bower appeared in nine games (including three starts), serving as both a standard elevation and member of the active roster. He compiled 14 tackles, one batted pass and his second career sack earlier in November against former Vikings quarterback Case Keenum. In 2021, Bower played 32 snaps along the defensive edges, serving twice as a game-day elevation.