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Patriot Maven Notebook: Rhody Rides in Style, Patriots Host Patterson for Workout and More

Also, New England’s top defender continues to add to an impressive season, with a chance to chase a career-high in sacks.

The New England Patriots are making their final preparations for Week Six of the 2021 NFL Season. The Pats will host the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, October 17 at 4:25pm at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. Still, the Patriots continue to make a headline or two heading into the weekend. From the Kraft family assisting a New England college football team to a potential big day for the Pats top defender, here are the latest Pats news and notes, courtesy of the Patriot Maven Notebook

Patterson Returns for Second Workout With Pats

Rookie kicker Riley Patterson was in Foxboro to workout for the Patriots on Friday. It was the 22-year-old’s second visit to Gillette Stadium, his first having taken place on September 30.

Patterson appeared in 52 games for the Memphis Tigers during his collegiate career. He connected on 64-of-83 field goals, his longest coming from 56 yards. Patterson made 240 extra points and took part in 295 kickoffs. He earned an invitation to the Reese’s Senior Bowl, where he would be named the top specialist for the National team.

Though Patterson went undrafted earlier this year, he was signed by the Minnesota Vikings. He spent the better part of the summer with the Vikes, before reaching a settlement and being waived from injured reserve in August.

New England’s interest in Patterson appears to be strong. Current Patriots kicker Nick Folk has recently been listed as both ‘limited’ and ‘questionable’ on recent injury reports, due to a left knee issue. Rookie Quinn Nordin remains on injured reserve due to an abdomen injury. With Folk likely needing some assistance with the kicking duties in practice, Patterson could be an intriguing option for a spot on the practice squad. However, the Pats squad currently stands at 16, meaning that a corresponding move would need to be made to accommodate the rookie kicker, should the Pats choose to enlist his services.

Rhody Football Team gets a Ride, Courtesy of Air Kraft

The University of Rhode Island’s football team is off to one of the hottest start in the program’s history. URI is 5-0 thus far, ranking no. 12 nationally in FCS football. It is the University’s highest FCS ranking since 2001, and the fourth time they have started with five straight wins.

As such, the team had hired a charter plane to take them to Towson, Maryland, as the Rams are set to face Towson University on Saturday, October 16. However, the charter flight fell through, leading team to believe that they were in for a long bus ride to their destination.

Enter, Robert Kraft and the New England Patriots.

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The Patriots team owner heard about the Rams’ issues with the charter plane through Andre Tippett, the Patriots Executive Director of Community Affairs, and Ted Fire, Vice President with the Kraft Group, bother whom have sons that are on the team. As a result, he stepped in and provided the Patriots team plane to take the URI Football Team to Maryland in style.

The Rams announced via Twitter that they are using the New England Patriots plane for Saturday’s game at Towson.

“Huge THANK YOU to Mr. Kraft and the @Patriots for the lift,” wrote the team’s Twitter account.

Thorr Bjorn, URI’s Director of Athletics, also thanked the Patriots and owner Robert Kraft.

“Wow!! Nothing but Thanks and Gratitude To Mr. Kraft and the @Patriots allowing @RhodyFootball to get to Towson in style!!!” said Bjorn in a tweet.

URI is set to face off against Towson at 4:00pm ET on Saturday.

The ‘Judon Sack Machine’ Marches On

Patriots linebacker Matt Judon has recorded a sack in four straight games. He can become the seventh New England player with a streak of at least five straight games with a sack and the first Patriots player to do so since Chandler Jones accomplished the feat in 2015.

Following his two-sack performance last week at Houston, Judon now has two multiple games in 2021 (2.5 sacks vs. New Orleans on Sept. 26). He can be the first Patriots player with back-to-back games with two sacks since Trey Flowers accomplished the feat in 2016 when he had two sacks at Buffalo (on October 30, 2016) followed by two sacks vs. Seattle (on November 13, 2016). Andre Carter (2011) and Willie McGinest (2001) are the only other Patriots players with back-to-back two-sack games, since Bill Belichick took the reins as the team’s head coach.

Judon set a New England record with 6.5 sacks in the first five games of the season. His single-season career-high for sacks is 9.5 in 2019 with Baltimore, on which the 29-year-old is on pact to shatter in 2021.