Patriots Notes: Josh Gordon Encouraging Teammates With Off-Field Work Ethic


FOXBORO, Mass. — Some leftover notes and nuggets from Thursday’s New England Patriots media availability at Gillette Stadium:

— Wide receiver Phillip Dorsett knows how difficult it can be to learn the Patriots’ playbook without spending a full summer with the team, so he’s been happy to help recently acquired wideout Josh Gordon get up to speed.

“He’s in the same shoes I was in last year,” said Dorsett, who was traded to the Patriots from the Indianapolis Colts after the 2017 preseason. “He’s just learning. He’s doing a lot of learning, and he is learning. He sits right next to me, and he always asks questions, trying to learn, and that’s great. He’s a pretty smart guy, so I know it’s going to come along to him.”

The Cleveland Brown traded Gordon to the Patriots early last week. He did not play in Sunday’s loss to the Detroit Lions but watched from the sidelines and participated in in-game meetings with his fellow receivers and position coach Chad O’Shea.

“(It can be hard) just getting acclimated to the atmosphere and how they practice, the things they do around here,” Dorsett said. “Getting acclimated — that took time. It’ll take time for anybody, being so used to being somewhere for a couple of years and then coming in and being in a whole new atmosphere, a whole new coaching staff, players. It’s different, but it’s something you get used to.”

Most around the Patriots organization have been tight-lipped when asked about Gordon, but the 2013 All-Pro has received positive reviews from head coach Bill Belichick and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.

— With running back Rex Burkhead landing on injured reserve this week, the Patriots chose to re-sign Kenjon Barner, who spent eight days on their 53-man roster earlier this month.

Barner, who briefly returned home to California during the break, said he was pleasantly surprised to get another call from New England.

“I’m very fortunate to be a part of a winning culture like this,” said Barner, who won a Super Bowl with the Philadelphia Eagles last year. “These guys have been the golden standard for so long in this league, so to be able to be a part of this, I’m extremely happy.”

Reporters initially believed the Patriots tabbed Barner to handle punt-return duties, but he was inactive for his first game after signing. Safety Patrick Chung returned punts during that game — a loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars — and cornerback/safety/return man Cyrus Jones did so against the Lions after re-signing last week.

It remains to be seen how Barner, who was Philadelphia’s return specialist last season, will be used this Sunday against the Miami Dolphins. He’s carried the ball just 77 times since entering the NFL in 2013, but the Patriots currently have just three options at running back with Burkhead gone: Sony Michel, James White and Barner.

“You hate to have that happen to Rex,” Barner said. “But that’s not my decision to make. That’s something that the coaches have to decide. And if the opportunity is given, I have to take advantage of it.”

— A joint review by the NFL and NFLPA concluded concussion protocol was not violated during the handling of Chung’s Week 2 head injury.

Chung appeared to suffer a concussion early in the second quarter of New England’s loss to Jacksonville but was not removed from the game until halftime. He proceeded to miss the next week’s game and remained limited in practice Thursday.

— The Patriots will wear their blue “Color Rush” uniforms for two home games this season: Week 5 against the Indianapolis Colts (Thursday night) and Week 9 against the Green Bay Packers (Sunday night).

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