New England Patriots receiver Kendrick Bourne went from being the team’s second-most productive wideout a season ago to only being in for two snaps in Sunday’s season-opener against the Miami Dolphins.
On one of the two plays Bourne was actually in the game, he created separation from a defensive back and caught a 41-yard throw from quarterback Mac Jones late in the fourth quarter.
So it was understandably a bit confusing why the Patriots would bench one of the few offensive weapons they had capable of explosive plays downfield.
According to NBC Sports Boston’s Tom Curran, it has been a constant build that culminated in the 27-year-old receiver showing up late to a team meeting before the second preseason game against the Carolina Panthers and landing in Matt Patricia’s doghouse.
“There was a meeting prior to the Carolina Panthers game that he was just a smidge late to that I was told that resulted in the benching that night,” Curran said, during an appearance on Gresh and Keefe on WEEI. “All of those things, I think, combined landed him in Matt Patricia’s doghouse.
“But are we talking about somebody who’s gotten sideways with a particular coach and Belichick wants to give Matt the latitude to make his own decisions on how he proceeds, or are we talking about a guy who’s an active pain in the ass? I don’t know.”
There was a report out by Albert Breer last week that Bourne’s training camp struggles could have been due to a lack of faith in the newly-installed offense.
Those issues combined with showing up late at a meeting obviously hasn’t gone over well with Bill Belichick’s assistant coach. When asked about the benching after the game, Bourne took the onus on himself and admitted he needed to play better.
We’ll see if he’s done enough to escape Patricia’s doghouse and get back on the field in Week 2 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.