The New England Patriots‘ wide receiver room got a bit thinner on Friday night. Through the team’s preseason game contrary to the Carolina Panthers, rookie second-round pick Tyquan Thornton seemed to suffer an upper-body injury.
In accordance with multiple reports, the injury was to his collarbone. Per the NFL Network, the rookie will miss around eight weeks, however the fortunate news is that the injury isn’t thought to be season-ending.
Thornton have been having a promising training camp and preseason, and his absence leaves New England a little shorthanded in the speed department at wide receiver. Jakobi Meyers. DeVante Parker, Nelson Agholor, and Kendrick Bourne will probably get the most the snaps out wide while Thornton’s collarbone heals.
Thornton and Parker were the team’s two wide receiver acquisitions this offseason, with the former likely to bring a vertical speed element to the offense and the latter providing Mac Jones with a possession receiver who is able to make contested catches. Now, New England will need to turn elsewhere because of its field-stretching, perhaps utilizing Agholor more regularly, if not having tight ends Hunter Henry or Jonnu Smith run seam routes to draw coverage deeper and open things up for Meyers and the running backs underneath.
What, exactly, New England’s offense can look such as this season remains to be observed. Josh McDaniels is not any longer around to call plays, also it appears that Matt Patricia is in line to dominate that job. There has been much made concerning the Patriots’ transitioning to a Shanahan-style wide-zone-based running game married with play-action concepts, and something of the keys compared to that kind of system is the opportunity to punish defenses down the field if they bite away from home fakes. Losing Thornton for just about any significant amount of time makes a little more difficult.