The Patriots added four players to the RESERVE/Covid-19 list on Monday but Kendrick Bourne's name stood out as the only player currently on the active roster. The team was already facing some questions about the health of their wide receiver group after losing both Nelson Agholor and N'Keal Harry to injury against the Colts and now Bourne's addition to the Covid list adds a new layer of uncertainty.
Only leading receiver Jakobi Meyers and return specialist/fill-in receiver Gunner Olszewski, who has just one catch this season, are left as the healthy players in the position group, a problem that could significantly hinder the Patriots passing attack against the Bills.
There is some depth on the practice squad as second-year receiver Kristian Wilkerson and rookie Tre Nixon have been with the team since training camp, working behind the scenes and waiting for a shot. This could be it. Wilkerson has now spent nearly two full seasons in Foxborough, while Nixon was the team's final selection in this year's draft, coming in the 7th round.
"I like to watch a lot of receivers," said Nixon shortly after hearing his name called in early May. "I feel like I can pick up a lot of things from many different guys like Doug Baldwin, Adam Thielen, DeAndre Hopkins, Devante Adams. I like to watch a lot of different receivers because you can always find something you can implement into your game whether it's a release, how you run a certain route, a certain way they caught the ball or certain drills. I just love watching film and being a sponge to the game of football. You can always learn and learn more."
Wilkerson was called up for one game last season, as well as the Panthers game this season, in which he played four total snaps. This preseason he led the Patriots in total receptions with 13 for 147 yards, while Nixon picked up two catches for 11 yards.
We'll see on Wednesday who is at practice and who is not, and with Kendrick Bourne telling teammates on Instagram that he's asymptomatic there could still be hope that he could be activated before Sunday. But the statuses of Agholor, Harry and Bourne top this week's burning questions as the Patriots head for a huge divisional rematch against the Bills with major implications.