New England Patriots: Shayne Graham To Replace Injured Stephen Gostkowski

Barry LewisContributor INovember 9, 2010

Graham is going to replace Gostkowski against Pittsburgh and Indy
Graham is going to replace Gostkowski against Pittsburgh and IndyRick Stewart/Getty Images

Shayne Graham, a 2005 Pro Bowl placekicker with the Cincinnati Bengals, is due to sign with the New England Patriots. He'll replace Stephen Gostkowski for the next couple of weeks while Gostkowski deals with an injured thigh.

Graham was brought in for a workout earlier this season during the Patriots' Week 5 bye. He brings some stability to the position while Gostkowski heals.

Gostkowski may be back for the Patriots' Week 12 matchup against the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving Day.

The New England Patriots will be Graham's fifth team. He has spent the majority of his career with the Bengals, in addition to stints with the Buffalo Bills (2001), Carolina Panthers (2002) and New York Giants (2010).

Graham lost a training camp battle with placekicker Billy Cundiff, who has helped the Baltimore Ravens lead the NFL with 2.8 touchbacks per game. Cundiff has a whopping 56.41 percent touchback percentage this year, as well.

Graham helped the Bengals tie for 16th last year in touchbacks with 0.5 per game, a far cry from Gostkowski's 1.9 touchbacks per game this year, good for third in the NFL. Gostkowski's 34.88 percent touchback percentage ranks fourth in the NFL.

Gostkowski is 10-for-13 in field goal attempts, with a long of 43 yards.

The Patriots face two crucial tests in the AFC over the next two weeks, facing off against the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Indianapolis Colts.