Mike ReeseESPN staff writer3 minutes to read
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Follow-up tests Monday revealed that New England Patriots’ leading receiver Kendrick Bourne tore his right anterior cruciate ligament, according to a source.
The injury ends Bourne’s seventh NFL season, which was on track to be his best, as he faces a recovery estimated by one source in the range of six to eight months.
Bourne was injured on the first play of the fourth quarter in Sunday’s 31-17 loss to the Miami Dolphins, when he caught a pass and was tackled along the right sideline by cornerback Eli Apple. He stayed down after the play, holding on to his right knee.
Bourne entered Sunday ranked 11th in the NFL ESPN’s new receiver tracking metrics He has totaled a team-high 37 receptions for 406 yards and four touchdowns over eight games. He has played 73% of the offensive snaps this season, the most of any Patriots player, and said last week that maintaining such stamina has been a source of pride for him.
Bourne, 28, who coaches say brings infectious energy to the team, is in the final year of his contract.
The Patriots had a receiver dilemma entering Sunday, with seven on their roster. Losing Bourne could mean veteran JuJu Smith-Schuster, who fell to fifth on the depth chart Sunday, moves up the depth chart.
Rookie Demario Douglas and veteran DeVante Parker are currently the team’s other top receivers, though Parker is in concussion protocol after suffering a helmet-to-helmet hit on Sunday.
Tyquan Thornton, the 2022 second-round pick out of Baylor who was a healthy scratch on Sunday, is expected to return to the game-day roster when the Patriots (2-6) host the Washington Commanders (3-5) on Sunday.
Kayshon Boutte, a 2023 sixth-round pick out of LSU who hasn’t played since the season opener, is another possibility.
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