Thigpen is of course famous for scoring a TD in five different ways: reception, running play, kickoff return, punt return and missed field goal return. Thigpen had 382 yards receiving on 28 for a reasonable 13.6 yard average. Conversely Thigpen had 82 receiving yards in 2011 on 23 rushes for a mediocre 3.6 rushing average. Sadly I can't find Thigpen's kickoff and punt return stats which are a lot more pertinent.
Certainly Thigpen can be replaced, but he had a lot of uses, had awesome speed and was really useful in injury situations as he could swap in for running back or receiver. Hopefully the Cats have somebody to emerge in training camp, but Thigpen was a big part of the excellent performance of the Ticats special teams in 2011.