Tyquan Thornton Names Reason Why He Can ‘Bounce Back’ for Patriots

Tyquan Thornton

Getty Tyquan Thornton named one reason why he'll "bounce back" for the New England Patriots.

He knows his career has been disrupted by injuries, but New England Patriots’ wide receiver Tyquan Thornton has the answer. The former second-round draft pick named one reason why he can be stronger during his third year in the NFL.

That reason has everything to do with adding muscle. Thornton explained how “I’m putting in work. I feel like I’ve put on a lot of muscle in a lot of areas that need it. I’m just continuing to get bigger. It’s just so I can take more impacts. I feel like all my injuries came from the ground – me hitting the ground. So, it’s so I can be able to bounce back up when I do hit the ground,” per MassLive.com’s Mark Daniels.

Taking hits and keeping going has been a problem for Thornton since the Pats made him the 50th player taken in the 2022 NFL draft. As ESPN’s Mike Reiss noted, Thornton’s “opened his first two seasons on injured reserve (fractured clavicle and shoulder).”

The 23-year-old has also missed 12 games from a possible 34. It’s going to be tough for Thornton to stay relevant on a reloaded receiver depth chart with so little football to his credit.

Tyquan Thornton Working With Teammate to Reach Key Target

Daniels revealed how Thornton has a “goal to play at 190 pounds this season.” It will require adding at least five more pounds to his frame, but following the example of a teammate could help.

Thornton has worked alongside Kendrick Bourne this offseason, according to Daniels. Bourne’s training program is an inspiration for Thornton, with the latter telling Daniels, “When I went out to Portland, I kind of got on that program that he was on. My goal – me and KB are two different players. I know that. He knows that. He put on 15 pounds of muscle. I’m just trying to put on as much muscle as I can.”

A bulkier Thornton will hope to still play an important role within a revamped receiver corps. Bourne, JuJu Smith-Schuster and DeMario Douglas are still on the roster, while the Patriots also signed K.J. Osborn in free agency, before drafting Ja’Lynn Polk and Javon Baker.

Thornton looks like an obvious candidate to be released from this crowded a field, but he still has value.

Patriots Still Need Tyquan Thornton

His enduring value comes from Thornton possessing true, game-breaking speed. He can stretch the field, evidenced by the “go’s, curls, outs, and blaze outs” he ran against the Los Angeles Chargers last season, per Taylor Kyles of Patriots on CLNS.

While he caught the eye against the Chargers in Week 13, the same game showed Thornton’s fundamental flaw beyond injuries. Namely, a difficulty securing catches.

This drop of what looked like a certain touchdown, highlighted by Ben Brown of The QB List, summed up the problem.

This was no isolated example. Thornton has dropped six passes entering the pros, according to Pro Football Reference. More than a few of them have been on the kind of deep routes he should thrive running.

It’s frustrating, but also something the Patriots could coach out of Thornton. The franchise once did something similar with Chris Hogan, who improved his hands enough to become a useful vertical threat for Tom Brady.

Current quarterbacks Jacoby Brissett and rookie Drake Maye will need a speed mismatch like Thornton to expand the field and make coverage obvious. Beefing up to become more resilient is a start, but it’s just one part of what Thornton needs to do to save his job.

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