Rookie wide receivers Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins have been utilized in different facets for the Patriots. (USA Today Sports Images)
NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas
There was a halftime shift in the New England Patriots’ comeback win over the Denver Broncos in Week 12. And while that was apparent in the 34-31 final score, it was also apparent in the use of rookie wide receivers Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins.
As the second-round pick opened the game at “X” receiver, the undrafted free-agent opened the game No. 4 on the depth chart. Yet after intermission, their roles were switched. The 6’0”, 195-pound Thompkins found himself on the field, and the 6’3”, 200-pound Dobson found himself predominantly observing from the sidelines.
The beneficiary, whose first passing play came with five seconds left in the first half, ultimately finished with six catches on nine targets for 56 yards. On the other end, Dobson finished catchless over his 37 snaps, relieving an injured Thompkins for just two plays in the third.
At first glance, the personnel switch suggested that the 22-year-old Marshall wideout had been benched in favor of the 25-year-old Cincinnati product. But in reality, the decision delved deeper than that. Dobson was not spotted at Patriots practice on Wednesday due to a foot injury, and Thompkins’ skill set and route tree best suited Denver’s defense. (more…)