Tyquan Thornton to begin 2023 regular season on the shelf
The New England Patriots ended up keeping six wide receivers on their initial 53-man roster, tied for the most they’ve kept on an initial roster in at least the last 10 years (not including Matthew Slater). However, that number won’t last through Week 1.
On Wednesday afternoon, the Patriots placed wide receiver Tyquan Thornton on IR, as first reported by ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. This move shouldn’t come as a surprise, as Thornton hasn’t practiced in three weeks, since injuring his shoulder during joint practices with the Green Bay Packers.
By keeping Thornton on the initial 53-man roster before placing him on IR, the Patriots ensured he’ll be eligible to return if healthy. Any players placed on IR prior to the 53-man roster deadline are ineligible to return for the entire season. Because the Patriots waited, they can now activate Thornton after four weeks at the earliest.
This will be the second year in a row that Thornton, a second-round draft pick in 2022 – will open the season on IR. Last year he broke his collarbone in the Patriots’ second preseason game and missed the first four weeks of the season. He ended up playing in 13 games as a rookie, catching 22 passes on 45 targets for 247 yards and two touchdowns. He also carried the ball three times for 16 yards and a score.
With Thornton on IR, the Patriots are left with the five-man wide receiver group that led the way most of the summer. That group includes veterans DeVante Parker, Kendrick Bourne, and JuJu Smith-Schuster, and rookies Demario Douglas and Kayshon Boutte.
The Patriots also now have an open spot on their 53-man roster to fill. It wouldn’t be surprising to see them bring back one of the players that they cut/waived on Tuesday. One name to watch is linebacker Calvin Munson, with Mark Daniels of MassLive reporting the team was looking to bring him back after IR placements were made.