Patriots Called Out For Dynamic Rookie Lack Of Action

The New England Patriots had great expectations from dynamic rookie Tyquan Thornton. Head coach Bill Belichick selected him in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Unfortunately, Thornton suffered a neck injury in the preseason and missed a few games in the regular season.

Thornton had his debut with the team in Week 5. He had great performance in Week 6 and also delivered his first touchdown. In the first five games of the season, Thornton was on the field for 33.5 percent of offensive snaps. In the three games since the bye week, the rookie was on the field for just 33.5% of offensive snaps. Nicole Yang from the Boston Globe discussed his reduced involvement, suggesting that coaches should make a change.

“Thornton has not been on the injury report, so health is not a factor in these decisions on playing time,” Yang said. “Jakobi Meyers, Nelson Agholor, DeVante Parker, and Kendrick Bourne are ahead of him on the depth chart — and the Patriots rank 25th in passing attempts per game — so targets can be hard to come by. But you would expect a second-round pick to be featured more. It’s hard to judge Thornton off production, given the continuing struggles of New England’s offense.”

Patriots coaches praise the dynamic rookie

Thornton may be playing less than before, but coaches like his potential. Troy Brown and Belichick praised his great performance and everything he brings to the field. According to Brown, Thornton is a really talented player.

“He’s a pretty talented player,” Brown said. “A lot of times you don’t have to catch a lot of passes to be involved in the game. Just your presence alone sometimes could help our team. Tyquan, his development so far in his first year, obviously it’s a little bit rocky with the [preseason collarbone] injury, but he’s coming along, like most of the other rookies in the league.”

Belichick feels the same way about Thornton. The rookie made progress in several aspects and hopefully, he will continue playing at high level.

“For several weeks now, [Thornton’s] been out there on a regular basis, practicing every day, playing,” the Patriots head coach said. “Taking the box score out of it, just in terms of assignments, execution, adjustments, playing multiple positions, based on the formation and things like that — all those have been progress for him. The more he can be out there, the more he can have the opportunity to play and learn and get experience and improve.”