Patriots activate rookie WR Tyquan Thornton prior to Lions game

Thornton's speed could be a major asset for New England.

Tyquan Thornton celebrates after scoring a touchdown in a preseason game. Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The Patriots will have another weapon at wide receiver when they host the Lions on Sunday at 1 p.m.

Speedy rookie Tyquan Thornton is joining the team after missing the first four games due to a fractured clavicle.

Thornton, a second-round pick, ran a 4.28 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine. He impressed and flaunted his potential in both training camp and the preseason before he was injured in a win over the Panthers.

The expectation was that he would miss six-to-eight weeks following surgery Aug. 22. Sunday would mark six-plus weeks, which puts both him and the Patriots in an ideal spot. Jakobi Meyers is also expected to return, meaning the Patriots will have more depth at receiver than they have all season.


It seems likely that Thornton will take the field with fellow rookie Bailey Zappe. With Brian Hoyer definitely out, and Mac Jones likely out, Zappe is next in line. The Patriots also activated Garrett Gilbert off the practice squad, likely to back up Zappe.

The Patriots, in need of a win after dropping two straight, are three-point favorites against the Lions.


This discussion has ended. Please join elsewhere on