Thompkins has missed the past two games while dealing with a hip injury, which he suffered during the Dec. 1 game at Houston. Thompkins said it's the first time in his football career – youth, high school, college, and now the NFL – that an injury has forced him to sit.
"Injuries are part of the game, but I’ve never been a guy that really got injured, maybe a hamstring before, but I never had a serious injury, never missed a game, so this is definitely a first for me," Thompkins said on Friday, before the team's final practice as it prepares to face the Ravens on Sunday in Baltimore.
With receiver Josh Boyce expected to miss Sunday's game with an ankle injury, the Patriots could use Thompkins and fellow rookie Aaron Dobson, who has missed three straight games with a foot injury. Dobson said on Thursday that he's optimistic about his chances of playing on Sunday. Thompkins wouldn't go that far, choosing the safe route with his words.
"We’ll have to see," he said. "I’m just taking it day-by-day, doing what they’re allowing me to do."
Despite not playing in the past two games, Thompkins has stayed active. He's participated in every practice since his injury, albeit in a limited role. Has it been tough on him to practice and then not play the past two Sundays?
"I wouldn’t say it’s been tough, I’ve still been preparing just as hard as if I would if I was going out there: Taking mental reps, watching film, going out there and controlling what I can control," said Thompkins, who has numbers (32 receptions, 466 yards, four touchdowns) quite similar to Dobson (35-492-4).