The New England Patriots might need to add a punter this week after Ryan Allen left Saturday's game with a right shoulder injury, though coach Bill Belichick said Monday afternoon that no decision has been made yet.
"We'll see where Ryan's at and just take stock of everything here in the next day or so," he told Boston sports radio WEEI in his weekly interview. "And try to do what we feel like is best. I'm not sure what that is."
Allen got hit hard Saturday in the second quarter of the divisional playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts on a botched punt attempt. Long-snapper Danny Aiken sailed it over Allen’s head and the rookie punter eventually recovered the ball near the goal line. He was steamrolled as he tried to throw the ball, which went out of the back of the end zone for a safety.
If Allen's injury is significant, the team could place him on injured reserve, which would create an open roster spot. If it's a less significant injury and the team wants to preserve the possibility of Allen playing in the Super Bowl -- which would require a win this Sunday in Denver -- another player would have to be released to make room for a new punter.
Kicker Stephen Gostkowski took over in Allen's place Saturday night, holding his own with nearly a 42-yard average on five punts. Quarterback Tom Brady replaced Allen as the holder for field goal and PAT attempts, though if a new punter is signed, he would likely handle that duty.