DETROIT -- Gunner Olszewski got his first taste of the NFL on Thursday.
Olszewski, a former defensive back at Bemidji State, debuted as a wide receiver and punt returner for the New England Patriots in a 31-3 preseason win over the Detroit Lions at Ford Field in Detroit.
The Alvin, Texas, native saw most of his action on the punt return in the second half. He returned three punts for 34 yards, including a team-best 19-yarder in the third quarter. He got regular reps at wide receiver in the fourth quarter, where he made a 13-yard reception for his lone catch of the night.
Olszewski also had a 7-yard rush on an outside pitch, which began an 11-play touchdown drive in the third quarter, and got in on kick coverage.
Several of New England’s wide receivers had respectable performances. Undrafted rookie Jakobi Meyers had the most highlights with six catches for 69 yards and two short-yardage touchdowns, while Maurice Harris made a one-handed grab for an early 14-yard score.
The Patriots next play the Tennessee Titans at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 17, in Nashville, Tenn.
NFL rosters must be cut down to 53 players by 3 p.m. on Aug. 31, which comes after the final preseason game. Olszewski is one of 13 wide receivers currently on New England’s roster.