New England Patriots Roster Moves: Tyquan Thornton, Jakobi Meyers, Who’s Up From Practice Squad?

New England Patriots Roster Moves: Tyquan Thornton, Jakobi Meyers, Who’s Up From Practice Squad?

FOXBORO – New England Patriots fans long yearned for a wide receiver who could run straight and be a threat to a defense.

They have been without one of their most reliable offensive weapons ever since Week 2’s victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers

The wait for both players to make their eagerly awaited returns is about to end.

The Pats have activated rookie receiver Tyquan Thnton from injured reserve _ (IR), thus adding him onto their active roster ahead of their Week5 matchup with the Detroit Lions .

Veteran wideout Jakobi Meadows is also expected to play against the Lions. The 25-year-old had missed New England’s Week 3 loss to the Baltimore Ravens as well as their Week 4 loss to the Green Bay Packers with a knee injury.

While it is not yet confirmed, both players will be available on Sunday, just in-time to wear the throwback red shirts.

Time For Thornton

Thornton had been sidelined since suffering a broken collarbone during the Pats’ second preseason game. His fractured clavicle was repaired in late August. He was given a recovery time of 6-8 week. As a result, the Baylor product was placed on IR immediately following his addition to New England’s initial 53-man roster.

Thornton joined New England’s practice field on Wednesday and participated in all three sessions that led into. He was eligible to return from short term IR after missing New England’s first four games. This week was the sixth since his surgery. It aligned with his initial recovery and recovery timetable. The Pats rookie wideout is a lightning fast runner [having run a blistering 4. 28 in the 40-yard-dash at the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine], with an ability to run past any defender in his path. Thornton’s speed and long strides allow him to glide past defenders in order to create separation. He will be a Patriots deep threat and the type of receiver that defenses will always have an eye on.

Thornton was the ‘X” receiver at Baylor. It is expected that he will return to the same role in New England. The rookie was a standout in training camp. His quick adaptation of the Pats’ game plan earned him many reps with the starting offensive, both on the outside and inside. In two preseason matchups, Thornton caught three passes for 22 yards and one touchdown in just 37 offensive snaps. While Thornton’s activity against Lions will likely to be closely monitored, it should also be noted that he worked closely during training camp as well as the preseason with fellow rookie Bailey Zappe. Zappe will likely be given the start under center ,, with incumbent starter Mac Jones unlikely. It would be not surprising for New England to use this connection against Detroit’s struggling second.

More For Meyers

Meyers had been battling a knee injury for the better part of the past three weeks. The North Carolina State product was a limited participant in each week’s practice. On Friday, he was officially listed as questionable due to his injury and participation in practice.

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Since Jones took on the role of New England’s starting signal caller, Meyers has been the Pats’ most consistent receiver. He finished the 2021 season with only two touchdowns, but led the team in both receptions (89) and yards (906), including the playoffs.

As Jones’ favorite target, Meyers has played on 106 offensive snaps in 2022. He has caught 13 passes for 150 yards. Though he is currently averaging 11.5 yards-per reception, he has yet to reel in a touchdown reception.

Gilbert, Sokol Are Practice Squad Elevations

In addition to Thornton’s activation, the Pats also elevated quarterback Garrett Gilbert and tight end Matt Sokol from the practice squad for Week 5. The news of Gilbert’s elevation follows New England’s decision to give Zappe his first ever career start against the Lions.

While Jones is still listed as ‘doubtful’, Gilbert’s status indicates that the former first-round draft pick of the Pats will be out on Sunday.

Perhaps best known for his time with the Dallas Cowboys, Gilbert originally served two seasons with the Patriots practice squads in 2014 and 2015. The 31-year-old returned to New England’s scout team in 2021, where he spent the majority of the season. Gilbert’s last NFL start came in December 2021 as a member of the was signed by Washington in December. He started one game for the team, completing 20 of 31 for 194 yards (with neither a touchdown, nor a turnover) in a 27-17 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. Sokol’s elevation shouldn’t be surprising considering that tight end Jonnu Smith (lower ankle sprain), is currently listed as questionable. The former Detroit Lion caught four passes for 24 yards in three preseason games with New England. The Pats will still rely on Hunter Henry, the hybrid receiver Lil’Jordan Humphrey, and swing tackle Marcus Cannon for their passing game.

Kickoff between Patriots and Lions will take place at 1 p.m. Sunday from Gillette Stadium.

Follow Mike D’Abate on Twitter @mdabateNFL and Listen/Subscribe to his daily podcast: Locked On Patriots

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