The New England Patriots suffered their sixth loss of the season on Sunday, this time to the Miami Dolphins. With this loss, the Patriots have now been swept by the Dolphins. But, that's not the biggest storyline in this game. Both DeVante Parker and Kendrick Bourne left this game with injuries leaving the Patriots thin at wide receiver.
DeVante Parker suffered a head injury in the third quarter on Sunday, which caused many to be irate. In what was clear helmet-to-helmet contact, Land Clark's officiating crew did not call a penalty on this hit which sent Parker to the medical tent. Eventually, Parker would go to the locker room and was ruled out of Sunday's game. Now, the Patriots are missing a key receiver with two receivers being healthy scratches.
The nightmare would continue for the Patriots receivers. This time it would be Kendrick Bourne who has been the Patriots' best receiver this season. Early in the fourth quarter, Bourne suffered a knee injury that would knock him out for the rest of the game. Now down both Bourne and Parker, the Patriots were left with JuJu Smith-Schuster, Demario Douglas and Jalen Reagor.
Why were the Patriots only left with three healthy receivers? Because Bill Belichick decided that both Tyquan Thornton and Kayshon Boutte will be healthy scratches. Once again, Boutte gets no time to develop as a young wide receiver and neither does Thornton. Even though it was only the fourth quarter, the Patriots were left in a position where they had to heavily rely on the tight ends and running backs to keep the chains moving on offense with only three receivers.
Bill Belichick needs to start playing both Thornton and Boutte. Now that Thornton is healthy he should be getting a chance to show why he was the 50th overall pick in last year's NFL draft. As for Boutte, it seems ridiculous that he's being treated this way after his week one footwork debacle, even though Belichick did give some insight as to why Boutte hasn't been playing. Regardless, the Patriots, or any NFL team should never be in position where they only have three receivers.
Healthy scratches get teams and players nowhere. There's no need for it. Today, even though the Dolphins outplayed the Patriots, a lesson was hopefully learned to stop with this move and give all your players a chance to play.