Patriots Postgame Live

Did Kayshon Boutte just seal a spot on Patriots' 53-man roster?

Boutte's (lack of) usage Friday night may have been a sign he's sticking around.

NBC Universal, Inc.

After breaking off a 42-yard touchdown against the Green Bay Packers last weekend, Kayshon Boutte played just three snaps in the New England Patriots' preseason finale against Tennessee Titans on Friday.

And that's a good thing for the rookie wide receiver.

The Patriots leaned heavily on their backups in a 23-7 loss to Tennessee at Nissan Stadium, as players on the roster bubble got their final chance to audition for a spot on the 53-man roster. By playing Boutte sparingly Friday, New England may have indicated the sixth-round wideout has earned a role on this team by stepping up over the past two weeks while fellow rookie Demario "Pop" Douglas and 2022 second-round pick Tyquan Thornton battled injuries.

"This is a guy who has made the most of his opportunity," our Phil Perry said of Boutte after the game on Patriots Pregame Live, as seen in the video player above. "We know how much Bill Belichick appreciates that sort of thing. Pop Douglas goes down in that Packers preseason game last week. Tyquan Thornton was hurt in one of those Green Bay (joint) practices. Kayshon Boutte slides right in there with Mac Jones the last two days of practice at Gillette Stadium -- he's catching balls left and right.

"I think he's done enough to make the football team, and it looks like (based on) the way they treated him tonight, he's trending that way."

While Boutte had a relatively quiet start to training camp, the LSU product has steadily improved over the past month. He's turned heads with a handful of highlight-reel grabs in team practices and has shown a knack for getting open, even while playing alongside Mac Jones and the first-team offense.

Most importantly, he seems to have caught the attention of Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, who offered rare praise of Boutte on Saturday morning.

"He didn’t do a lot in the spring, and as camp went on seemed to get stronger and more productive, both in practice and games, really in all of the areas that he worked into," Belichick said in a video press conference. "So, that was very encouraging, and he showed explosive ability on the field when he played.

"So, he’s had a good camp, and again, we’ll just take a look at everything here as we put things together over the weekend here and then heading into the regular season. But yeah, Kayshon’s had a strong camp."

That doesn't sound like a player who's going to be looking for a new job after Tuesday's cutdown day.

If the Patriots want to keep all three of Boutte, Douglas and Thornton, it would mean carrying six wide receivers, with JuJu Smith-Schuster, DeVante Parker and Kendrick Bourne all roster locks. That might mean the team would have to cut rookie quarterback/wide receiver Malik Cunningham and hope he clears waivers to make the practice squad.

Cunningham played deep into the fourth quarter Friday night, however, so it does seem like there's a strong possibility that a pair of sixth-round wideouts make the Patriots' regular-season roster.

Contact Us