Vince Wilfork weighs in on Kendrick Bourne situation originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Bourne played only two snaps in the 20-7 defeat and made an instant impact with his lone target of the game. The 27-year-old hauled in a 41-yard reception, the Patriots' biggest offensive play of the day, during the fourth quarter.
Unsurprisingly, many were up in arms about Bourne not seeing the field, especially when the Patriots desperately needed an offensive boost. But if you ask Patriots Hall of Famer Vince Wilfork, we shouldn't overreact to the wideout's mysterious absence.
"Nobody ever wants to be benched. And one thing I know about the Patriots and the organization, they're going to put the best people on the field that they think can help win," Wilfork said Wednesday on "The Gameplan". "Sometimes, some guys don't get more playing time than others and sometimes you get a lot of playing time that's not expected.
"So I think it's early in the season. You never know what's going on there, if it's health-related or if it's game planning, whatever it may be. But you might see his plays spike next week and the week after that. So beginning of the year, I wouldn't say let's run around with our hair on fire. Bill (Belichick) knows what he's doing. So hopefully we can get that situated and put the best 11 on the field that can help us win ballgames."
As our Tom E. Curran explained, Bourne's minimal usage was a decision made by senior football advisor/offensive line coach Matt Patricia. The two haven't jelled so far in their first season together, and that dates back to training camp. Bourne practiced with the backups on occasion and was noticeably absent during the preseason.
The expectation is that Bourne will see much more action in the team's Week 2 showdown vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers. New England certainly could use him as Pittsburgh's fearsome defense presents another challenge for Mac Jones and Co.
Kickoff for Pats-Steelers is set for 1 p.m. ET Sunday at Acrisure Stadium.
Watch the full "The Gameplan" segment with Wilfork below: