Kenbrell Thompkins was practicing on Tuesday, which is a great sign considering the amount of injuries that have occurred to pass catchers for the New England Patriots this season. By some miracle, the Patriots are 11-4 thus far. But do not get things mixed up; Thompkins’ presence is certainly necessary.
Tom Brady needs as many pass catchers as he can get. He has already lost his No. 1 option in Rob Gronkowski. And now one of Brady’s other top options, Shane Vereen, is battling a groin injury. That basically leaves Brady with just his wide receivers to throw to. And even that group is thin.
Besides Julian Edelman, all of Brady’s other legitimate wide receivers have been injured this season. Aaron Dobson, Danny Amendola, Josh Boyce and Thompkins have all missed at least one game with injuries. This has cost them valuable time when it comes to developing chemistry with Brady.
Now we re-focus on Thompkins, who has shown flashes of chemistry with his veteran quarterback. At times, Thompkins has certainly looked like he could be the No. 3 wide receiver for this team. His ability to run intermediate routes on the outside draws a comparison to Chad Johnson. However, Thompkins’ skillset is still limited to that an outside possession receiver.
These skills are valuable though. Brady loves throwing the football between the short and intermediate range, and Thompkins’ ability to get open in this range has proven to be a good match with Brady. That is why Thompkins will be needed as the Patriots approach another playoff run.
Philip Alexander is a New England Patriots writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @steely0906, “like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.