Stephen Gostkowski will be watched closely throughout training camp as he recovers from a major injury to his quadricep.
The veteran kicker was not used on kickoffs in Thursday's exhibition opener against the Jaguars but he did kick two second quarter field goals, one for 46 yards and the other of 43 yards with no time left on the clock at the end of the first half. He also converted on five extra points.
Gostkowski was placed on injured reserve last Nov. 10 after injuring his thigh against Cleveland on Nov. 7. He made his only PAT in that game but did not play in the second half. He kicked in just eight games in the 2010 season.
"It's a lot harder staying loose on the sideline but it's my job to be ready to go and I'm going to do what's necessary to be ready to go," said Gostkowski. "I passed the first test today but I still have a long way to go and a lot of hard work (left) to make sure that I'm ready for the season."
Gostkowski said the training staff has cleared him for any and all duties but "we just have to be smart about it," as he continues to build strength in his right leg. "It's a day-to-day thing. One day I'll feel awesome and the next I won't feel so hot. I'm putting the trust in them. It's their job to get me back on the field and I'm happy with the way things are going."
Rookie kicker Chris Koepplin handled the kickoff duties and bootedseven of his eight kicks into the end zone, two for touchbacks. Gostkowski said he hopes to kick off in coming weeks but is in no rush.
"We're just taking it slow," he said. "Field goals, there's a lot more timing and rhythm behind it. It's a lot more important to get reps in field goal-wise."