Things are trending in the right direction for Patriots receivers heading into training camp
During spring practices earlier this year, the Patriots wide receiver depth was quickly tested. All four of their receivers with NFL experience – DeVante Parker, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Kendrick Bourne, and Tyquan Thornton – missed at least some time during OTAs and Minicamp.
In particular, Smith-Schuster and Thornton missed significant time. Smith-Schuster didn’t practice at all as he recovered from a knee injury he suffered in the playoffs last season, while Thornton was shut down after the first week of OTAs with what was described as a “soft tissue-related injury.”
As training camp gets underway six weeks later, one of the big questions has been just how healthy the Patriots’ receivers will be to start the season – specifically Smith-Schuster and Thornton. In his pre-training camp press conference on Tuesday, Bill Belichick offered an encouraging update.
Belichick confirmed that Smith-Schuster is one of the players who reported early to training camp last week. “He’s done everything everybody’s done,” Belichick added, implying that he’s back on the field. In a follow-up, Belichick was asked if that also applies to Thornton and confirmed that Thornton reported early as well.
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After the Patriots’ wide receiver depth was stretched paper-thin this spring, it looks like they’ll be starting camp with the complete group. Still, the team did add another player to the group on Monday, signing former San Francisco 49ers third-round pick Jalen Hurd.
The Patriots will hold their first training camp practice Wednesday morning on the practice fields behind Gillette Stadium. That will be the first look at this new wide receiver group as a whole. We’ll have full coverage of practice here on 985TheSportsHub.com, and Zolak & Bertrand will be broadcasting live from practice from 10-2 on 98.5 The Sports Hub.
Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.