Tyquan Thornton activation headlines transaction-heavy day for Patriots
October 8th, 2022
The Patriots made a trio of roster moves on Saturday, ahead of their Week 5 matchup with the Detroit Lions. Those moved included the addition of a highly-anticipated rookie to the active roster.
As first reported by ESPN’s Field Yates, the Patriots are adding rookie wide receiver Tyquan Thornton to the active roster from IR. Thornton, who broke his collarbone in the team’s second preseason game, returned to practice earlier this week.
When Thornton underwent his surgery in August, his time to return was originally given as ‘6-8 weeks.’ This past Monday was six weeks from the procedure.
The Patriots drafted Thornton in the second round, 50th overall in this past NFL Draft out of Baylor. He’ll add a dynamic speed element to the offense, as evidenced by his position-leading 4.28 second 40-yard dash at this year’s Combine.
WOW. JUST WOW.@BUFootball WR Tyquan Thornton might've just broken the all-time 40 record with a 4.21u.
How much Thornton will be involved in the Patriots’ offense – if at all – remains a question. The Patriots are already experiencing a play-time crunch at the position between Nelson Agholor, DeVante Parker, Jakobi Meyers, Kendrick Bourne, and Lil’Jordan Humphrey. Meyers, who missed the last two weeks with a knee injury, is also expected to return against Detroit.
When he’s on the field though, the 6-foot-2 speedy wideout will add a dynamic element and potential trick play threat. However, the Patriots have historically leaned on the side of easing in rookie skill position players, and the depth ahead of Thornton would make that easier to do in this case.
The Patriots didn’t have to made a corresponding move when adding Thornton to the 53-man roster. A spot was opened earlier this week when quarterback Brian Hoyer was placed on IR due to a concussion.
In addition to adding Thornton to the active roster, the Patriots also elevated the maximum of two players from the practice squad for the game. Quarterback Garrett Gilbert and tight end Matt Sokol will both suit up on Sunday.
Garrett Gilbert spoke how comfortable he is with the Patriots and how impressed he is by Bailey Zappe 🙌 pic.twitter.com/mU9XtRfjBG
Gilbert was signed by the team earlier this week, after Hoyer’s concussion left rookie Bailey Zappe as the lone healthy quarterback on the roster. His elevation could be a sign that Mac Jones – who is listed as doubtful as he works his way back from a high ankle sprain – isn’t ready to dress and will be inactive for the second consecutive week.
Sokol’s elevation could be a sign that Jonnu Smith will be inactive for the game. Smith suffered a low-ankle sprain last week, was reported to be ‘week-to-week,’ and was also listed a doubtful for the game.
This will be the first elevation of the year for both Gilbert and Sokol. Each player can be elevated up to three times over the course of the season.
The Lions also made a series of moves on Saturday ahead of the matchup. Wide receiver Maurice Alexander and cornerback AJ Parker were signed to the active roster from the practice squad, cornerback Saivion Smith and kicker Michael Badgley were elevated from the practice squad, and wide receiver Quintez Cephus was placed on IR.
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 @RealAlexBarthor via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.