Latest On Patriots WR Kendrick Bourne

Kendrick Bourne was one of the Patriots’ most productive wide receivers in 2021, but he was limited to only a pair of offensive snaps during the team’s Week 1 loss. While coach Bill Belichick said Bourne’s lack of playing time wasn’t a disciplinary measure, Doug Kyed of writes that the wideout may still be paying for a few preseason incidents.

Bourne was ejected for fighting during a joint practice with the Panthers, and he was late to a meeting later that same week. Bourne didn’t see the field during that week’s preseason contest, but you’d assume he’d be out of the doghouse almost one month later.

As Kyed writes, part of Bourne’s role could simply be attributed to his spot on the depth chart. DeVante Parker, Jakobi Meyers, and Nelson Agholor soaked up the majority of the snaps at wide receiver, and the team also relied on two tight-end sets with Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith on the field. Someone was going to have to be the odd man out on offense, and for the first game, it was Bourne.

However, he should get a longer look this weekend. Jeff Howe of The Athletic tweets that the receiver’s playing time is expected to increase this weekend against the Steelers.

Bourne had a career year during his first season in New England, finishing with career highs in receptions (55), receiving yards (800), and touchdowns (five). Despite only playing two offensive snaps last weekend, the 27-year-old still pulled off the offense’s biggest play of the game when he hauled in a 41-yard reception.

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