It's getting to that point in the 2023 season when it seems like there is so much news happening every single day and not enough time to keep track of it all.
So, to make things a bit easier, here are the biggest stories regarding the Patriots as we head into the weekend, eagerly awaiting their next matchup against the Dolphins on Sunday.
Bill Belichick gives blunt response when asked about Kayshon Boutte's availability
There have been a lot of questions surrounding the status of Kayshon Boutte within the Patriots offense over the weeks, mainly because he has been a healthy scratch for the last six games. Since he had picked up some steam during the preseason and the excitement grew about his potential on the team, his absence has left many wondering why Bill Belichick has kept him off the field for nearly half the season.
The concerns peaked earlier this week when Jalen Reagor was signed to the 53-man roster, becoming the seventh wide receiver signed to the team. Because Belichick tends to carry five pass-catchers for game day, it likely means two receivers will be sidelined for every game moving forward.
The assumption remains that Boutte will be one of those players, with no real explanation for why he hasn't been given more opportunities. But that changed on Friday when the head coach was asked directly how Boutte can ensure he is one of the active players on game day, and his response was seemingly more telling than what his words were actually saying.
"It’s a very competitive situation. I feel like we have a lot of competition at that position. Everybody’s in it. The guys who perform the best play the most, the guys who don’t need to perform better.
They’re all competing. We have a number of players that I think are all — again, it’s very competitive. We’ll see how that goes."
Based on that answer, it doesn't give the impression that Boutte will be taking the field any time soon. But why?
As a sixth-round draft pick, there weren't intense expectations for him coming out of the draft. There had been at one time, though, since he was previously believed to be a first-round prospect. Poor performances and alleged issues with a new coaching staff at LSU altered that, making him fall to the Patriots at pick 187 in the 2023 draft.
He flashed a bit during the summer and became the most hyped receiver (outside of Demario Douglas) coming into the season, but he didn't live up to it in the game against the Eagles in Week 1. Boutte was targeted four times in that game, dropping two and not catching the others.
But does that warrant him to be in the Belichick doghouse?
Perhaps there's more to the story than what we know because it really doesn't make much sense if it's all performance-based. Boutte is a rookie and has only been given one opportunity to play in a real NFL game. It's not exactly fair to judge him based on that performance alone.
It would be nice to see Belichick give him more chances this season, especially since the offense is still trying to work out some kinks and build cohesion. Boutte looked like he could be a great weapon for Mac Jones to work with, so it's time to see what he can do sooner rather than later.