New England Patriots receiver Kendrick Bourne is out for the rest of the season with a torn ACL suffered in Sunday’s loss to the Miami Dolphins, a league source said. Here’s what you need to know:
- Bourne left Sunday’s game in the fourth quarter after catching three passes for 36 yards and a touchdown.
- The veteran led the Patriots in receptions (37), yards (406) and touchdowns (four) this season.
- He’d been on a hot streak in recent weeks after catching 18 passes for 218 yards and two touchdowns in Weeks 1-5. Bourne caught 19 balls for 188 and two touchdowns in Weeks 6-8.
What this means for New England
An uphill climb just got even steeper for the Patriots’ passing offense. The group has struggled all season amid a lack of playmakers on the outside, and the Patriots are now forced to play without their lone reliable receiver. They’ll have to lean more on Demario Douglas, JuJu Smith-Schuster and even Tyquan Thornton, their second-round pick last year who was a healthy scratch Sunday.
This stretch without Bourne is a chance for those receivers to leave a good impression amid a lost season. It also makes quarterback Mac Jones’ job more difficult as he attempts to use the final nine games as a chance to prove he still deserves to be the Patriots’ starting quarterback. — Chad Graff, Patriots staff writer
What this means for Bourne
It’s hard not to feel for Bourne. Last year, he was in the proverbial doghouse almost the entire season. It started when he was late to a meeting in the preseason, then continued amid disagreements with an offense run by Matt Patricia.
But the current coaching staff has raved about how Bourne used this past offseason to better prepare himself and said that contributed to his strong start to this season. Bourne was playing well enough to command a lucrative contract in the offseason. Now, he’s going to be entering free agency while still rehabbing from the ACL tear. — Graff
(Photo: Megan Briggs / Getty Images)