Patriots Reportedly Signing Super-Versatile Ex-Dolphin To Practice Squad

Lynn Bowden looked like a potential Patriots draft target in 2020


Sep 1, 2022

The New England Patriots are filling the final spot on their initial practice squad with a player many thought they’d draft two years ago.

Former Miami Dolphins wide receiver Lynn Bowden signed to New England’s P-squad on Thursday, per a report from ESPN’s Field Yates.

Bowden hasn’t done much at the NFL level to date, but he was an extremely versatile collegiate player at Kentucky, playing both wide receiver and run-first quarterback along with returning punts and kicks.

He rushed for 1,468 yards and averaged 7.9 yards per carry as a junior in 2019 — with injuries thrusting him into the starting QB role midway through the season — adding 403 passing yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions and 30 receptions for 348 yards and one score. Bowden also amassed 1,629 kick-return yards over his three-year college career, averaging 22.9 yards per runback. He won the 2019 Paul Hornung Award as the most versatile player in college football.

Bill Belichick has long valued players who can play multiple positions — third-round rookie Marcus Jones was last year’s Hornung Award recipient — and Bowden was viewed as a logical Patriots target ahead of the 2020 NFL Draft. He wound up going in the third round to the Las Vegas Raiders, who quickly traded him to Miami before the end of his first preseason.

The 24-year-old appeared in 10 games as a rookie, catching 28 passes for 211 yards and rushing nine times for 32 yards while primarily playing in the slot.

Bowden missed the entire 2021 season with an injury, then was released by the Dolphins ahead of Tuesday’s 53-man roster cutdown deadline. In three games this preseason, he caught four passes on six targets for 94 yards and two touchdowns and returned four punts for 37 yards and one kickoff for 26 yards.

The Patriots took a chance on a similarly versatile ex-Dolphin at this time last year, signing option QB-turned-receiver Malcolm Perry after cutdown day. Perry, a Navy product drafted in the seventh round, never appeared in a game for New England.

If the 5-foot-11, 204-pound Bowden impresses in practice, he might be able to fill the void left by running back/wide receiver Ty Montgomery, who suffered an ankle injury in last week’s preseason finale and has yet to return to the field. The severity of Montgomery’s injury remains on clear, and as of Thursday morning, he had not been placed on injured reserve.

The Patriots will open the regular season at Miami next Sunday.

Thumbnail photo via Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports Images
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