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Patriots activate wide receiver Tyquan Thornton off injured reserve; Elevate two players off practice squad

Related: Assessing Patriots quarterback Bailey Zappe ahead of his potential first career NFL start

New York Giants v New England Patriots Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The New England Patriots activated rookie wide receiver Tyquan Thornton off the injured reserve prior to Sunday’s contest against the Detroit Lions.

Thornton has been on IR since September 1 after suffering a broken collarbone during the preseason. Originally given a 6-8 week recovery window, he was designated to return off injured reserve earlier this week just six weeks after he underwent surgery.

The 2022 second-round pick was an early standout of training camp, showcasing his blazing speed but also impressive route running ability. His early usage will be noteworthy as he joins a crowded Patriots receiving room.

Beyond Thornton, the Patriots elevated quarterback Garrett Gilbert and tight end Matt Sokol off the practice squad. With both quarterback Mac Jones and tight Jonnu Smith listed as doubtful with ankle injuries, the Patriots called up reinforcements from the practice squad.

Gilbert, who was signed to the practice squad earlier this week, is in his third stint with New England, but Sunday will mark the first time he has been active. He will likely backup rookie Bailey Zappe, who is in line for his first career NFL start.

As for Sokol, the tight end will provide depth behind Hunter Henry and pseudo-tight end Lil’Jordan Humphrey with Jonnu Smith likely sidelined. Sokol was signed to the practice squad in August after posting a solid summer performance in New England. This will mark his first elevation.

The Patriots and Lions will meet at Gillette Stadium at 1 p.m. EST.