Some positive news for the New England Patriots on Tuesday when wide receiver Tyquan Thornton returned to practice. Thornton began the season on Injured Reserve and has yet to play. A return to practice starts the clock on a 21-day window to be either activated or shelved for the season.
The return of Tyquan Thornton comes at a good time for New England on multiple fronts. Not only are the wide receivers struggling to produce, the unit has health issues as well.
Both Demario Douglas and JuJu Smith-Schuster left Sunday’s loss to the Saints with head injuries. Neither returned to the game. Douglas and Smith-Schuster are both now in concussion protocol. This leaves the timetable for their return a question mark at the moment.
With Douglas and Smith-Schuster sidelined, the New England Patriots are suddenly thin at wide receiver. Kendrick Bourne and DeVante Parker are the lone healthy receivers who were active last weekend. Rookie Kayshon Boutte is healthy but has been inactive since the season opener. Ty Montgomery could also play wide receiver if needed.
The New England Patriots took Tyquan Thornton in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Injuries have forced Thornton to start each of his two NFL seasons on IR. Injuries have also led to questions about whether or not the speedy receiver’s slight build will ever hold up against NFL competition.
As a rookie last season Thornton had 22 receptions for 247 yards and two touchdowns. A return of Tyquan Thornton, New England’s best deep threat, could open up the field for the Patriots other skill position players.