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Mac Jones: Kendrick Bourne’s time will come

NFL columnist Mike Jones thinks Patriots coach Bill Belichick may need to look within himself after getting trounced by the Miami Dolphins Week 1.

Wide receiver Kendrick Bourne was a big part of the Patriots offense in 2021 as he posted 55 catches for 800 yards and five touchdowns after joining the team as a free agent.

The first game of Bourne’s 2022 season saw him playing a very different role. Bourne did not get on the field until the fourth quarter and wound up catching a 41-yard pass from Mac Jones on one of the two snaps he played in the 20-7 loss to Miami.

After the game, head coach Bill Belichick said “it just worked out that way” when asked about Bourne’s lack of playing time and that he wasn’t benched as a disciplinary matter. On WEEI Monday, Belichick reiterated that and said “it wasn’t anything that was specifically avoided.” Quarterback Mac Jones also addressed Bourne’s situation in his Monday press conference.

“KB has to control what he can control and when he gets the chance to play or practice, just like we all do, we have to try and do our best that we can,” Jones said. “He just has to continue to be himself. He’s done a good job. He’s a great teammate, and we have a lot of guys on our team like that. I hope he can contribute more, and he will, and his time will come. Like I always say, the plays will come, don’t chase them. He’ll get a chance and when he does, I have confidence in him. He’s a great route runner, great competitor. He’s just got to do what he’s doing and continue to see his role increase.”

Given the way the Patriots offense played on Sunday, one would imagine they’d be open to just about anything that leads to better production. Bourne’s brief flash on Sunday suggests he could provide some, so we’ll see if he gets a longer look against the Steelers.