NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas
Josh Boyce has been finding space dating back to his days at Copperas Cove High School, where he amassed 42 receptions for 837 yards as a senior target for current Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III.
That penchant followed Boyce to nearby Texas Christian University, where the 5’11”, 205-pound wide receiver accumulated 161 catches for 2,535 yards and a school record 22 touchdowns on his way to becoming a New England Patriots fourth-round draft choice last April.
Yet as a rookie in Foxborough, Mass., this season, finding space of another sort has been a challenge for Boyce. No. 82 has been confined behind the likes of Kenbrell Thompkins, Aaron Dobson, Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman on the wideout depth chart. In turn, his chances to carve a role have been limited.
Over the first 13 weeks of New England’s regular season, Boyce played in seven games and was inactive for five. He stood in the offensive huddle for a total of 74 plays, according to Pro Football Focus, recording two catches for 30 yards on five targets while also returning six kicks for 149 yards on special teams.
But against the Cleveland Browns in Week 14, injuries to fellow rookies Dobson and Thompkins thrust Boyce into an extended moment. (more…)