For many New England Patriots‘ fans, the addition of WR Kenbrell Thompkins to the inactive list came as a bit of a surprise. He had been heavily utilized in the offense from day one and was thought of as a player who could emerge as a breakout star in the preseason.
But the reality is that with the exception of one game against the Atlanta Falcons and a few cheap red zone touchdowns early in the season, Thompkins has done virtually nothing for the team this year. In fact, you could argue that he has hurt them in the long run.
He has caught 23 passes for 334 yards and four touchdowns, which looks good on paper, but he has also been targeted a whopping 56 times on the year. That means that he is catching less than 50 percent of the balls thrown his way this year.
Additionally, a good number of those incompletions have been drops which were purely the fault of Thompkins. He has seven drops on the season which ranks him tied for worst in the NFL in that category with Tavon Austin, Davone Bess, Cecil Shorts, and fellow teammate Aaron Dobson according to the Washington Post.
His recent lack of production was likely a big factor in the Patriots deciding to bench him in Week 9 as well. In his past three games, he only caught eight passes for 76 yards and a touchdown. That is an average of just over 25 yards per game and is a sign that his red zone efficiency had started to slip too.
These statistics prove that the Patriots were right in benching Thompkins and it should not be a surprise that they made the decision to do so.