FOXBOROUGH — Kendrick Bourne is an easy spot at Patriots practice. He’s the guy who looks like he just guzzled five Red Bulls.
Whether it’s zipping through individual drills, cutting on a dime in team periods, or showing off some salsa moves in the stretching lines, the receiver is always a standout and clearly a man who is enjoying himself.
“KB has got some good energy. He brings that out to the practice field every day,’’ coach Bill Belichick said. “It’s fun to have that type of personality and energy interjected into the team. He works hard.’’
So, where does Bourne summon the enthusiasm?
“Oh, man. Honestly, I would just say I’m enjoying where I’m at in life,” said Bourne. “I’m enjoying the moment, everything that I’ve been through in life, and just taking it day by day, really enjoying the days. “It doesn’t get any easier if I’m pouting around or coming out here with a bad attitude, it doesn’t help anything. So, I’ve just been like this all my life, man, and just … keeping that kid-friendly energy in me and enjoying the game.’’
Bourne’s impact on offense has been steadily increasing, with his snaps and chemistry with quarterback Mac Jones on the rise. The first-year Patriot is third on the club with 17 catches for 207 yards and a touchdown.
“Some of the things we’ve asked him to do, I feel like he’s really improved with,’’ said Belichick. “He’s got some good skills. Good quickness. He’s got length. Good target. Catches the ball well. Good skill set and a guy who’s continued to work hard and get better every single day. I have a lot of respect for the way he approaches the game and his work ethic on the practice field.’’
That work ethic — and energy — is something Bourne’s teammates have come to expect and count on.
“Yeah, no doubt, if I’m not smiling and joking around, something’s wrong,’’ Bourne said. “I’ve actually had a point here when I was learning the playbook, sometimes I wouldn’t do some things right, and that’s the times I’m like, ‘OK, I can’t just be joking around, I need to fix something with myself,’ so I’m not going to be joking around. But once I’m comfortable and a lot more in synch with the team, I’m definitely more relaxed, can be myself more now that I’m growing a lot more with the team.”
Hurting on offense
The Patriots officially ruled out guard Shaq Mason (abdomen) for Sunday’s game against the Cowboys. The club also likely will be without Isaiah Wynn (COVID-19 reserve list) as the left tackle has yet to return to practice.
There was good news as Justin Herron (abdomen), who replaced Wynn last week, returned as a limited participant after missing Thursday’s practice. He is questionable for Sunday.
New England also could be shorthanded at tailback, with Damien Harris (ribs) and J.J. Taylor (groin) both limited at practice and questionable for Sunday. Taylor is a new addition to the report.
Brandon Bolden and Rhamondre Stevenson are the only healthy backs on the roster.
Others listed as limited/questionable include: linebackers Kyle Van Noy (groin) and Ronnie Perkins (ankle); corners Jalen Mills (hamstring) and Jonathan Jones (ankle), and kicker Nick Folk (left knee).
Rookie cornerback Shaun Wade (concussion) also was ruled out.
Series of streaks
The Cowboys lead the head-to-head series, 7-6, though the Patriots have won the last six … The Cowboys own the league’s longest active streak with multiple takeaways in nine straight games … Corner Trevon Diggs has an interception in each of the Cowboys’ first five games. The record to start the season is six straight games, originally set by the Giants’ Tom Landry in 1951. Landry is the Cowboys’ franchise leader with 250 coaching wins in 29 coaching seasons … Deatrich Wise’s Wise Up & Co. foundation will again host a block party at the Mattapan Teen Center on Saturday. The big defensive end sponsors the event annually to bring attention to organizations and business in Mattapan. “I would like for when people come to the block party to just feel inspired, inspired by just all the positive things that go on in this community,’’ Wise said. “I hope that they walk away with positive and happy feelings and vibes, and that they learn something.’’