Patriots News: Kyle Dugger, Mike Onwenu and Tyquan Thornton

Cleveland Browns v New England Patriots
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Tyquan Thornton is determined to use last week's healthy scratch status as fuel in Week 9

The unexpected decision made by Belichick last week to keep Tyquan Thornton sidelined for their Week 8 matchup with the Dolphins felt like an indication of how the coaches viewed the second-year receiver this year.

Because the offense has been struggling, including DeVante Parker and JuJu Smith-Schuster, it seemed like Thornton would be the go-to guy to get back in the lineup once he recovered from injury. Instead, he was a healthy scratch in a game that could have used him, especially since two starting receivers left the game with injuries.

Now that Kendrick Bourne will miss the rest of the season and Parker will likely miss the upcoming game due to a concussion, Thornton will inevitably see an increased role against the Commanders on Sunday. Although that sounds like good news, Thornton shared he was upset about being inactive last week and promises to use last week's benching as fuel in the game ahead.

"Just continue to do what I was doing, man. Just doing it a little better. Being more consistent. Using it as fuel, being inactive in my hometown Miami. That's something I [didn't] like. But it is what it is. Gotta keep rolling with the punches so this week's going to be a great one."

Since he's had such a quiet season so far, maybe the added motivation will help Thornton have a breakout game against an opponent that should be an easy win for the Patriots.

We saw glimpses of greatness from him last season against the Browns and Dolphins, which could be the much-needed boost the offense will need in Bourne's absence.