Will the Patriots be shopping for a punter this week on the free-agent market? They may have to if Ryan Allen can't play.
Allen was injured during New England's 43-22 Divisional Round win over the Colts on Saturday when he recovered a botched snap near the Patriots goal line that eventually resulted in a safety.
Bill Belichick spoke with WEEI's Salk and Holley Show on Monday and said that the team had not yet determined Allen's status for the AFC title game this weekend.
"We'll see where Ryan's at and just take stock of everything here in the next day or so," Belichick said, "and try to do what we feel like is best. I'm not sure what that is."
MassLive.com reported that Allen had an MRI on his right shoulder on Sunday. The day before, Allen was hit on the right shoulder as he scooped up long snapper Danny Aiken's high snap. Allen was then slammed to the ground and landed on the same shoulder. After Allen hit the ensuing free kick, cameras showed him grabbing at his shoulder in pain.
ESPN reported that the team worked out two punters earlier this season: Shawn Powell and Robert Malone. Powell was signed and released by the Bengals earlier this season. Malone has been signed by the Redskins to a futures contract.
In his rookie season, Allen has developed into a valuable weapon for the Patriots' punting unit. He ranked 10th in the league in the regular season with 29 punts downed inside the 20 yard line. He was also tenth in the league -- thanks in part to a strong coverage unit -- with 7.6 yards allowed per punt return. He averaged 45.9 yards per punt.
Allen also served as the holder for field goals and extra points this season. Quarterback Tom Brady subbed in as the holder on Saturday, while kicker Stephen Gostkowski did double-duty and took over the punting duties.