New England Patriots

New England Patriots

New England Patriots

  • Kendrick Bourne’s lack of playing time drew significant attention following the Patriots’ 20-7 loss to the Dolphins on Sunday. However, he wasn’t the only projected regular contributor missing from the game plan.

    Before the game, linebacker Anfernee Jennings was announced as one of the team’s seven inactives. That came as a bit of a surprise, as Jennings had a strong summer and projected to be in the rotation on the edge, particularly on the strong side where the team needed to replace the snaps vacated by the departure of Kyle Van Noy. It’s a role Jennings played well in training camp and during the preseason.

  • https://twitter.com/FTBeard7/status/1560807442312794115?s=20&t=YinFgupp7_3-f7o94pAAZQ

  • Asked on Monday morning why Jennings wasn’t dressed for the game, Bill Belichick declined to give a specific answer. “Practice and pre-season games are two different things,” Belichick said. “Regular season, you can only activate so many players. You activate the ones that you think will give your team the best opportunity as a total team to win. So that’s what we did. That’s what we’ll continue to do. That’s the way it’ll always be.

    Instead of Jennings, it was mostly Ja’Whaun Bentley and Jahlani Tavai who played that spot on Sunday. Both are traditionally middle linebackers, but the Patriots mainly used Raekwon McMillan in that spot, freeing up the other linebackers to move around. There were also instances where safeties Kyle Dugger and Adrian Phillips (before he got hurt) played in the middle of the defense.

    Even beyond the game plan though, it was still a bit surprising that Jennings was inactive – especially considering the fact that Bourne only played two snaps, practice squad elevation Harvey Langi only played one, and offensive tackle Justin Herron didn’t see the field.

  • Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at [email protected].

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