It was a chaotic week of practices between the Patriots and Panthers that all led to their matchup on Friday night at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots starting offense began the game and would remain in for the first three drives. They would finally score a touchdown on that third drive, which then brought in the 2’s and 3’s to take over the rest of the game.
All eyes were on the rookie receiver, Tyquan Thornton, as he finally entered the game. But his night was cut short, after only one reception due to suffering an injury in the second quarter. He would participate in a punt return play after what is believed to be the play that caused his injury but would be ruled out for the rest of the game after the play concluded.
It was unknown what injury he sustained after the game, and Bill Belichick was unable to provide any update in his post-game press conference. That continued on Saturday morning when the coach spoke to the media.
But the diagnosis and timetable regarding his injury would break just a few hours later.
The good news is that Thornton won’t miss the entire season. The bad news is that he will be missing “around 8 weeks” according to Mike Giardi of NFL Network.
Thornton has had a productive camp so far and remained a favorite amongst the rookies to actually play in his first season. The injury is a devastating blow to the receiver, but with three weeks left until week one, he has the possibility of only missing a few weeks.
He will likely make the initial 53-man roster but will need to be placed on IR to keep his roster spot open. If that is the route taken, he can return to the team after missing four games.
With so much competition in the receivers’ room this preseason, Thornton’s absence for the foreseeable future opens the door for another young talent to make the team; whether that be Lil’Jordan Humphrey, Tre Nixon or Kristian Wilkerson.
It will be interesting to see in which direction Belichick and the Patriots will go, especially as they hope to move in a new direction offensively.