What Bill Belichick said about Tyquan Thornton’s benching


Thornton was available to play in the second half, Belichick said. But he was not on the field.

Tyquan Thornton. AP Photo/Greg M. Cooper
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Tyquan Thornton played 12 snaps in the Patriots’ loss to the Commanders on Sunday.

That was less than Demario Douglas, Jalen Reagor, and JuJu Smith-Schuster played. And it was on a day when Kendrick Bourne, DeVante Parker, and Kayshon Boutte were all out.

On Monday, a reporter asked Belichick if Thornton was available to play during the second half.

“Yeah.” Belichick said. “Yes.”

But, Thornton was not on the field during the second half.

Thornton began the season on injured reserve with a shoulder injury and has missed six of the team’s first nine games.

When asked if his lack of playing time on Sunday was injury-related, Thorton said: “I don’t know, you have to ask the coaches.”

Thornton finished the game with one catch for seven yards on four targets. The second-year receiver has three catches for 15 yards in three games this season.

Thornton said he saw room for improvement in his game, particularly on his third down route running.

“There’s definitely a lot that I could have done differently,” Thornton said. “I could have run better routes. I could have created more separation. Yeah, I’ll take full accountability.”

The Patriots drafted Thornton in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft. In two seasons, he’s had a pair of stints on injured reserve. He has 25 catches in the 16 games he’s played with the Patriots.

At 23 years old, Thorton is still a young developing player. He’s faced some adversity so far in his career, but is looking forward to his next opportunity.

“It’s all about your faith, you know?” Thornton said. “Just coming in each and every day and staying true to the process. Don’t get discouraged at all, just continue to work.”