FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Second-year wide receiver Josh Boyce, who entered training camp favored to be New England’s No. 1 kick returner, and long snapper Danny Aiken were among those cut as the Patriots got to the 53-player limit.

Boyce, who played in nine games, caught nine passes and returned nine kicks before getting hurt last season. He caught four passes for 57 yards and had one carry for 13 more in two preseason games. But his downfall may well have come when he was targeted nine times and had just two catches in Thursday night’s preseason finale against the New York Giants.

Aiken, entering his fourth NFL season, was the only long snapper listed on New England’s depth chart for Thursday night’s game.