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Kendrick Bourne puts limited Week 1 role on himself: ‘Not giving the coaches what they want, what they need to see’

Related: Instant analysis from Patriots’ 20-7 loss to Dolphins

New England Patriots v Las Vegas Raiders Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images

As the New England Patriots took the field against the Miami Dolphins to begin the 2022 season on Sunday, they did so largely without wide receiver Kendrick Bourne.

Despite the Patriots offense struggling to move the football, Bourne’s first snap of the day did not come until there was 5:53 left in the fourth quarter. On the very next play, Bourne hauled in a 41-yard reception down the left sideline, New England’s longest offensive play of the day.

“Just waiting for my opportunity,” Bourne told reporters after the game. “Just waiting for the coaches and just waiting for the moment for me to go in.”

Bourne went on to add that he was not given an explanation for his role.

“Not sure, just playing my role,” he said. “Whatever I got to do, just waiting for that moment. I don’t really know so just waiting on opportunity.”

Speaking after the game, Bill Belichick noted the reason for Bourne’s limited action was not because of a disciplinary issue.

“It just worked out that way,” Belichick said of Bourne’s playing time. “We did what we thought was best.”

After being one the highlights on offense last season for the Patriots, Bourne’s role projected to increase entering year two in New England. An overall quiet summer that was highlighted by a preseason benching and ejection from practice seems to have derailed that progress.

“Not giving the coaches what they want, what they need to see,” Bourne said postgame. “Just need to get better on my part.”

The Patriots ended up losing their season opener with a final score of 20-7.