The Patriots spent a second-round draft pick on wide receiver Tyquan Thornton last year, he didn't do much as a rookie, and he's done even less this season: Thornton has caught just three passes, gained 15 receiving yards, and none of his catches picked up a first down.
But Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien says it's too early to give up on what Thornton can produce.
“He’s a great guy, works very, very hard. And he just hasn’t had a lot of opportunities. I’m not making excuses for him, I’m just telling you he hasn’t been out on the field a lot,” O’Brien said, via MassLive.com. “Shoulder, whatever it is, he’s had a couple of injuries over the course of his young career and he doesn’t have a ton of experience. That comes on the field then obviously the games. Tyquan works very hard and I think he’ll be able to do that.”
It didn't help that on Sunday when Thornton got open on a fourth down, quarterback Mac Jones missed him. But Thornton is emblematic of a lot of the Patriots' struggles on offense, where players brought in with high expectations are failing to produce.