Bailey Zappe and Tyquan Thornton become first Patriots rookie quarterback-receiver combo to score TD since 1993

Tyquan Thornton had a breakout game in his second week back from injured reserve.

After returning to game action last week, Tyquan Thornton already has a pair of NFL touchdowns under his belt.

On his first, he sliced across the middle from the slot and raised his hand to show that he was open.

Bailey Zappe hit him in stride, making them the first Patriots rookie quarterback and receiver combination to connect for a touchdown since Drew Bledsoe and Vincent Brisby in 1993.

The next touchdown was when the second-round pick from Baylor really got to showcase his speed. The Patriots schemed up an end-around call and Thornton raced past the Cleveland defenders into the endzone.


“I wasn’t quite surprised because one of the coaches was telling me about it throughout the week,” Thornton told Andrew Callahan of the Boston Herald.

That score made him the first Patriots rookie receiver since Irving Fryar in 1985 to score a receiving touchdown and a rushing touchdown in the same game, according to ESPN Stats & Info.

The big performance came in Thornton’s second game back after being activated from injured reserve following a broken collarbone. He’s also been dealing with “personal things”, said tight-end Jonnu Smith who added that he didn’t want to go too deep into the details but once went through something similar.

“For him to come out and put on a performance like he did today speaks volumes about that kid,” Smith said. “Because I know when I was going through it, it was tough. To see him out there with a smile on his face and to see him go out there and make plays and play free, that speaks volumes. Those are the kind of guys you [want] around. Guys that fight through adversity. Guys that put the hard hat on and take adversity head on.”

Before the game Thornton posted a picture of himself with the broken-heart emoji and the caption: “This one is for Chubs.”



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