As the Patriots offense continued to struggle all afternoon, you had to wonder what was going on with Kendrick Bourne. Arguably the quickest receiver in a group that struggles to create separation, Bourne spent most of the afternoon glued to the Patriot bench. It became more of a head scratcher once Bourne finally saw the field with roughly 5 minutes to go and Mac Jones promptly hit him for a 41-yard reception, the longest Patriot play of the game.
A year ago, Bourne broke out during his first year in New England catching 55 balls for 800 yards and 5 touchdowns, all career highs. He was the lone bright spot against Buffalo in the playoffs catching two touchdowns. But it was a strange training camp for Bourne as he was thrown out of the first joint practice with the Panthers for fighting, subsequently benched for the second preseason game and then named in trade rumors before an injury to Tyquan Thornton thinned out the receiver room.
The Patriots offense surely struggled during their loss in Miami, scoring only 7 points while turning the ball over 3 times. Multiple times receivers struggled to get open against the Miami secondary as Jones faced pressure most of the afternoon. Surely, you’d have to imagine a player such as Bourne would have helped.
Talking to reporters in the locker room after the game, Bourne spoke about his role and the frustration it has caused.
"“I play my role, so whatever I got to do, just waiting for that moment. I don’t really know, just waiting on that opportunity. It’s tough. Just keeping my mind in it, though, knowing my teammates are capable. It’s not about me at all. Just waiting for my opportunity. That’s all I can say.”"
After the 41-yard grab, Bourne was again taken out of the game and two plays later Nelson Agholor fumbled, sealing defeat for the Patriots. With a porous offensive line and the need for more speed on offense, Bourne needs to see more of the field going forward. If not, the Patriots are only hurting themselves.