Patriots

Bill Belichick explained why Lil’Jordan Humphrey is playing more than Kendrick Bourne

Even without Jakobi Meyers, Bourne's snaps were limited again on Sunday.

Greg M. Cooper
Kendrick Bourne leads the Patriots with 562 receiving yards.

Patriots wide receiver Kendrick Bourne is still playing a reduced amount of snaps compared to last season.

During Sunday’s loss to the Ravens, Bourne played 18 offensive snaps, which was the least among Patriots wide receivers.

That coincided with an increased workload (54 snaps) for Lil’Jordan Humphrey.

Belichick explained why he played Humphrey so much Monday morning on WEEI’s Greg Hill Show.

“It’s a decision on the type of formations, the plays you’re running, they’re running,” Belichick said. “It was a lot of loaded, heavy boxes from the Ravens. That involves some things in the running game. He’s kind of a cross between 11 personnel and 12 personnel. It gives us a little bit of both when he’s on the field.”

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Belivhick praised Humphrey for his toughness and versatility earlier in the week, while saying that Humphrey doesn’t necessarily fit the mold for a particular position.

His hustle and skill set are getting him chances in more of a hybrid role with his blocking ability. At 6-foot-4, 225-pounds, he certainly is a big receiver. But he said Wednesday he’s not exactly a tight-end either.

Learning how to utilize that size within the Patriots’ personnel scheme is helping him grow as a player, he said.

“It’s cool. You get to learn the game more so you’re not one-dimensional,” Humphrey told Boston.com. “You get to add value to yourself. And you’re playing football, so you really enjoy it. It is what it is. You do whatever you can to help the team.”

But, it’s still unclear why Bourne is spending so much time on the bench even when the Patriots were without Jakobi Meyers.

“Yeah, the coaches got the plan,” Bourne told NBC Sports Boston’s Phil Perry. “I think it works. I can’t say this or that. I’m definitely happy with what I got to do. I would love to play more, but I gotta just keep proving it to the coaches. Game by game. Every time I go in, just making the plays that come so I can try to go out there more.”

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And ultimately, it wasn’t the receivers that were the big problem against Baltimore. It was Lamar Jackson scoring five touchdowns.

“I think all of our receivers were productive in the roles we asked them to be in. It’s really the bad plays we have to eliminate,” said Belichick.

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