Report: Patriots WR Kendrick Bourne to have MRI Monday to evaluate knee injury

Patriots

“I have a lot of love for KB. I hope he’s OK.”

MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 29: Kendrick Bourne #84 of the New England Patriots celebrates a receiving touchdown during the first quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on October 29, 2023 in Miami Gardens, Florida.
Kendrick Bourne has established himself as the Patriots’ go-to receiver this season. Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images

Kendrick Bourne has been one of the few bright spots on a Patriots offense marred by uneven execution and a dearth of proven playmakers.

But New England’s go-to receiver may not be back on the gridiron for an extended stretch after suffering a knee injury during Sunday’s loss to the Miami Dolphins.

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Bourne will have an MRI on Monday in order to determine the severity of the injury, which he suffered during the fourth quarter of New England’s 31-17 defeat.

Rapoport added that the “hope” from the Patriots’ camp is that it’s just an MCL injury, based on the initial diagnosis. But an MRI will offer more clarity as far as Bourne’s recovery timeline.

According to MassLive’s Mark Daniels, Bourne was spotted postgame wearing a large brace around his right knee.  

“KB is a great teammate,” quarterback Mac Jones said postgame. “Great friend of mine and does a great job coming to work every day and staying positive. I have a lot of love for KB. I hope he’s OK. I didn’t see him in there. Off the field, he’s one of my best friends, honestly. I have a lot of respect for him, his family and everybody. So I hope he’s OK.”

The 28-year-old wideout, currently in the final year of his contract with New England, was quickly ruled out of Sunday’s game after he awkwardly twisted his knee while getting tackled along the sideline.

Bourne, who was clutching the back of his knee while getting attended to by New England’s training staff, eventually made his way off the field under his own power.

Bourne was one of the few regulars on offense who delivered during Sunday’s loss, reeling in three catches on four targets for 36 yards and a touchdown. After being limited to just 35 catches and one touchdown in 16 games with the Patriots in 2022, Bourne is now up to 37 receptions and four touchdowns in eight games this fall.

Any extended absence for Bourne would be disastrous for a Patriots’ roster already sputtering with a 2-6 record. Besides Demario Douglas, no other Patriots wideout has a proven track record of separating from defensive backs with some semblance of consistency this season.

Along with Bourne’s evident chemistry with Jones, his underlying numbers and yards-after-catch (YAC) capabilities have drawn praise from ESPN Analytics.

According to the data-based outlet, Bourne entered Sunday as the NFL’s 11th-ranked wideout and top receiver in the AFC East due to his ability to extend plays after reeling in the football. 

Bourne’s potential replacement in JuJu Smith-Schuster ranked dead last in that ESPN Analytics ranking at 109th overall.


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