FOXBORO, Mass. — Kendrick Bourne’s puzzling summer now includes a preseason DNP.
The New England Patriots wide receiver was not in uniform for Friday night’s exhibition matchup with the Carolina Panthers at Gillette Stadium.
The reason for Bourne’s absence was unclear. The veteran wideout was one of the NFL’s most efficient pass-catchers last season but has been surprisingly quiet in training camp, sparking questions about his role in New England’s crowded receiving corps.
Bourne was ejected from Tuesday’s joint practice for fighting and repped with the second-team offense for part of Wednesday’s session. He saw just one target from starting quarterback Mac Jones in 11-on-11 drills across the two practices.
Starting left tackle Trent Brown also did not dress Friday night. He’s been a full participant in each practice since the start of training camp.
The Patriots also were without tight end Hunter Henry, offensive tackles Isaiah Wynn and Justin Herron, wide receiver Kristian Wilkerson and offensive linemen Bill Murray and Andrew Stueber, all of whom have been sidelined with injuries.
Wilkerson suffered a concussion Wednesday on a hit from Panthers safety Kenny Robinson, which helped spark a large-scale brawl that spilled over into the spectator area.
With Brown, Wynn and Herron unavailable, Yodny Cajuste and Mike Onwenu started at left and right tackle, respectively, against the Panthers. Onwenu has been the Patriots’ top right guard since the start of spring practice but has extensive tackle experience.
Backup center James Ferentz started at right guard.
NESN.com’s coverage of New England Patriots preseason is presented by Cross Insurance, protecting your team since 1954.