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5 Up-And-Coming NFL Players Who Could Break Out in Week 13

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NFL: Five Up-And-Comers Who Could Explode In Week 13

Five Up-And-Comers Who Could Explode In Week 13
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Every year around this time, a few diamond-in-the-rough prospects are revealed to the public. Whether it be because of injuries or ineffectiveness, many young NFL players have to wait until close to the end of the season to make their debut and impress their respective organizations.

For others, they may have started the year playing, but only in a backup role. Then, for whatever reason, they are thrust into a starting role and never look back. For example, players like Zac Stacy and Jarrett Boykin have already made a name for themselves in the league this season after being relatively unknown and having a late start in the league.

There are several players that have emerged in recent weeks that could very well fit that bill by the end of the 2013 season. While some of these players are more well-known than others, they were unable to breakout so far in their careers. For the five players that I am about to discuss in this slideshow, Week 13 could finally be the week that they cement their status as breakout stars in the league.

If you disagree with any of the following players that are about to be presented in this slideshow, or you have any thoughts on these particular players, I would encourage you to comment regarding the subject in the “comments” section down below. I will start with a running back for the New England Patriots that could see significant time moving forward, Brandon Bolden.

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5. Brandon Bolden

Brandon Bolden
Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Bolden is in a very good spot at the moment. Given Stevan Ridley's excessive fumbling, LeGarrette Blount's unimpressive straight-line speed and receiving skills, coupled with Bolden's solid hands, he could very well take over the starting running back job this week against the Houston Texans.

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4. Cordarelle Patterson

Cordarelle Patterson
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Cordarrelle Patterson's situation is a little bit different than the other players' on this list. He has been active for every game this year, but was mostly returning punts and kicks. He played very sparingly as a receiver until last week, when he caught eight passes for over 50 yards. Now, the Minnesota Vikings insist that they will incorporate him much more in the receiving game. That could lead to him going from a receiving afterthought to a bonafide star wideout, perhaps as early as Week 13.

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3. Robert Woods

Robert Woods
Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

For Robert Woods, injuries both to him and fellow wide receiver Steve Johnson have eaten significantly into his production on the field. With Woods and Johnson both as healthy as they have been all year, it could finally be time for him to break out in Week 13 and beyond.

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2. Justin Hunter

Justin Hunter
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

While he technically had his breakout game last week already with six caught passes for 109 yards and a touchdown, Hunter also developed a nice rapport with now starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick that he did not have with Jake Locker. With Kendall Wright also drawing significant coverage away from him, Hunter should continue to benefit from the change at quarterback down the stretch.

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1. Marcus Thigpen

Marcus Thigpen
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Marcus Thigpen was a running back who was buried on the depth chart for the Miami Dolphins before this week. Now with Daniel Thomas done for the season, he will be the no. 2 running back behind Lamar Miller, who has been average at best this season. If he can outplay Miller with the opportunities he is given, or if Miller suffers an injury, Thigpen could seize the starting running back job on the spot.