Tyquan Thornton is reportedly dealing with a soft-tissue injury ahead of Patriots minicamp

Thornton was a standout during one of the Patriots' sessions of organized team activities.

Tyquan Thornton is looking to emerge on the scene in Year 2. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

The Patriots might be without at least one key receiver when mandatory minicamp opens on Monday.

Tyquan Thornton is dealing with a soft-tissue-related injury, ESPN’s Mike Reiss reported Sunday.

The second-year receiver was on the field early during the team’s three weeks of organized team activities (OTAs). He was present at the first OTAs that were open to the media on May 31 and was a standout that day, playing with the starting unit.

But Thornton wasn’t on the practice field in the two OTAs that were open to the media last week.

Thornton’s standout practice in May gave some optimism that the receiver might make a jump in production in Year 2. He was sidelined early in his rookie season after suffering a broken clavicle in the second preseason game. The injury forced him to miss the first four games of the regular season and he finished with 22 receptions for 247 yards and two touchdowns in 13 games.


Thornton isn’t the only Patriots receiver dealing with an injury ahead of minicamp. The Patriots have been “cautious” with JuJu Smith-Schuster, who they signed this offseason, due to a knee injury he suffered while with the Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game, according to Reiss. The severity of Smith-Schuster’s injury was never revealed though he played in the Chiefs’ Super Bowl win two weeks later.

While Smith-Schuster finished off the season for the Chiefs, he wasn’t seen on the practice field during three sessions of OTAs that were made available to the media.

News of the injury situations surrounding Thornton and Smith-Schuster were revealed in the leadup to DeAndre Hopkins visiting the Patriots. The All-Pro receiver is reportedly set to stop by Foxborough sometime in the upcoming week, though it isn’t known what day he’ll be at the Patriots’ facility.

As the possibility of the Patriots signing Hopkins appears to grow, there’s been some speculation that the Patriots could move on from a veteran receiver on their roster to help make room for Hopkins. But the injury situations surrounding Thornton and Smith-Schuster might cause the Patriots to hesitate, according to Reiss.

Patriots minicamp will run Monday through Wednesday. After that, the team will be off until the start of training camp. The first day of training camp hasn’t been announced yet, but it typically begins in late July, which should give Thornton and Smith-Schuster at lease six weeks to rest and recover.


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