ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Those in attendance at Monday night’s New England Patriots-Buffalo Bills game were surprised to see Josh Gordon trot onto the field for the Patriots’ first offensive snap.

NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport had reported hours before kickoff that Gordon would be benched for New England’s first few series as punishment for tardiness this week. That punishment never was handed down, however.

Gordon started the game and played 64 of a possible 76 offensive snaps — second-most among Patriots wide receivers behind Julian Edelman — in the Patriots’ 25-6 victory at New Era Field.

Asked about the report after the game, Patriots coach Bill Belichick replied: “Yeah, I don’t know. You’d have to ask whoever wrote that. I have no idea.”

Gordon, who finished with four catches on six targets for 42 yards, also had little to say on the matter.

“That’s going to be a question you have to ask Coach about,” he said in his postgame news conference. “But as it relates to the game, I was available, so that’s a plus.”

He later added: “I’ve got to check on everything. I’m not too sure about what’s out there myself. I couldn’t even give you an answer.”

Gordon has played in five games since being traded to the Patriots from the Cleveland Browns in mid-September, catching 17 passes for 266 yards and one touchdown.

Thumbnail photo via Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports Images