With less than two weeks until training camp begins for the New England Patriots, several jobs will soon be on the line for some key players. WR Kebrell Thompkins is perhaps the player with the most to gain, or potentially lose, on the offensive side of the ball during camp.
Thompkins was essentially phased out of the offense last season from Week 12 onward, catching just seven passes for 72 yards the rest of the season. Unfortunately for him, things could get even more difficult for him in 2014. After acquiring WR Brandon Lafell in free agency and drafting WR Jeremy Gallon out of Michigan, the Patriots have two fresh faces competing for playing time at the position.
With Aaron Dobson cemented as the No. 1 receiver, Julian Edelman, Josh Boyce and Gallon will be competing for slot receiver reps. Thompkins, on the other hand, will be competing with Danny Amendola (if he is healthy and doesn’t line up inside) and Lafell for No.2 WR duties. All of a sudden, the WR position in New England is awfully crowded.
Should Thompkins fail to impress during training camp, there is a chance that Thompkins could find himself out of the starting mix for the Patriots in 2014. If he really struggles, there is also a chance, however small it might be, that he could be playing elsewhere this upcoming season.
Ultimately, he faces an uphill battle for significant playing time this season. I personally wouldn’t be at all surprised if he was a final roster cut before the start of the season.