For most NFL players, August is a stressful time of year. It’s when they’re fighting for jobs and trying to prove they deserve a spot on the final 53-man roster. The margins are razor-thin, and a good or bad performance can make or break a player.
That’s especially true for Patriots players, as Bill Belichick has high standards. He expects a lot out of his players and knows what it takes to build a championship roster. Belichick isn’t easily impressed, but he knows talent when he sees it and won’t keep a player around just for sentimental reasons.
With the final roster deadline coming up on Aug. 29, time is running out for players to make a good impression. Fortunately, some fringe guys have already appeared to secure roster spots with strong performances during training camp and preseason games.
Here are three Patriots players on the roster bubble who seem like pretty good bets for a roster spot at this point.
3 Patriots Who Have Clinched Roster Spots
1. Kayshon Boutte
A lot of times for bubble guys, whether or not they make the roster comes down to opportunity. If someone ahead of them gets hurt and gives them a chance to show their stuff, they need to make the most of it.
Well, that’s exactly what Boutte’s been doing lately. With Tyquan Thornton and Demario Douglas sidelined, a chance has opened up for him in New England’s wide receiver room.
And so far, Boutte’s taking advantage. He’s been making impressive catches during training camp practices, which have translated to game action as well. Boutte caught a touchdown pass from Bailey Zappe during Week 2 of preseason action against the Green Bay Packers, giving him a terrific highlight to hang his hat on.
Boutte has built off that momentum with another strong week of practices, making a strong case that he belongs on the roster. The Patriots already have their top three receivers set with JuJu Smith-Schuster, DeVante Parker and Kendrick Bourne, but Boutte could provide depth behind them as a fourth or fifth option.
Expectations weren’t high for the sixth-round draft pick at the start of camp, but he’s exceeded them and then some.