Outside of second-year man Jakobi Meyers the New England Patriots were unable to get consistent contributions out of their wide receiver group in 2020. In order to address this issue, the team invested some considerable resources in free agency. Nelson Agholor agreed to join the Patriots on a two-year, $22 million deal, with Kendrick Bourne a short time later being added via a three-year contract worth $15 million.
Both are intriguing additions to New England’s passing offense, with Agholor a big-play threat and Bourne a prototypical possession receiver. The latter also brings something else to the table that the Patriots value: despite seeing regular action as a second and third option for the San Francisco 49ers, he has proven himself a durable player — one that has yet to miss an NFL game due to a football injury.
With that said, let’s take a closer look at his medical history to find out what it all means from New England’s perspective.
2020 (49ers): Bourne did not suffer any reported injuries during his time in college and in the NFL, but he still had to sit out a game in 2020 after testing positive for the Coronavirus. San Francisco sent him to the Reserve/Covid-19 list in early November ahead of a game against the Green Bay Packers. Bourne spent just two days on the list, and was sent back to it on November 9. He was activated for a second time on November 13, just in time for a game against the New Orleans Saints two days later.
What this means for the Patriots
While freak accidents happen and injuries can never be ruled out in a full-contact sport such as football, New England should feel good about Bourne’s medical history. With the exception of his Covid-19 scare and five weeks as a healthy scratch during his 2017 rookie season, Bourne has yet to miss a game in the NFL.
Not only that, but he has yet to be listed on even a single injury report: the 25-year-old is as reliable a player as any the wide receiver position has to offer, and the Patriots are hoping for this to continue from 2021 on. The fact that they guaranteed $5.25 million as part of his three-year free agency contract is further proof of that.