FOXBORO — Kendrick Byrne ended up being the Patriots’ second-most prolific player against the Ravens, despite seeing the workload of a part-time player.
Burn played less than a third of the Patriots’ 66 offense on Sunday. But he finished with four steals for 58 yards on five targets, second only to Devante Parker in catches and yards (five steals, 156 yards).
The Patriots again relied on their 11-man package on Sunday, which means the vast majority of their receiving is with three receivers, one tight end, and one guard on the floor. Combine that with the injury to starter perimeter Jakobi Meyers and that should mean more work for Bourne.
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But Lil’Jordan Humphrey played the vast majority of the game against Baltimore. He saw 53 points, second only to Parker (66) in that category.
“Yes, the coaches have a plan,” Byrne told NBC Sports Boston. “I think it works. I can’t say this or that. I’m very happy with what I’m doing. I’d love to play more games, but I have to keep proving that to the coach. Game by game. When I go in, it’s just for the upcoming drama so I can try to get there more.”
Byrne was asked if he believed his blocking ability was preventing him from seeing more snaps.
“They just got different packages,” Byrne said. “There’s a bigger package here and there. LJ is a bigger guy, so they like to mix up the defense. It’s the coach’s plan, and I have to go with my fists.”
In the first two weeks of the season, Humphrey was used as a base runner 79 percent of the time (23 or 29). He was targeted twice in three games for 11 yards.
The Patriots could choose to replace Meyers with tight ends — either Hunter Henry or Jonu Smith — while using a larger 12-man lineup. But this is not the case.
Bill Belichick asked for two of 15 games. Humphrey was the biggest beneficiary of Meyers’ injury, although Burn has been the more productive player for three weeks.
“It’s a decision about the type of formation, the type of game you’re running (and) they’re running,” Belichick said on WEEI Monday morning when asked more about the thinking behind hitting Humphrey. “The Ravens have a lot of boxes full of weights. It involves a few things in the running game. (Humphrey) is the intersection between 12 and 11. It allows us to have a little bit on the field. “
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