New England Patriots wide receiver Aaron Dobson (17) runs out of bounds during the fourth quarter against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium. The Panthers defeated the Patriots 24-20. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Dobson not at practice today

New England Patriots rookie wide receiver Aaron Dobson started to come on strong in Week 6 when he caught six passes against the New Orleans Saints, and Dobson has progressed faster than expected. The raw, second-round pick out of Marshall wasn’t expected to play a significant role in the Patriots passing attack due to his rawness, but he’s developed well and started to break out into a key player in the passing offense in Week 6. Since then, Dobson has caught at least three passes in each game, including a huge 130-yard, two-touchdown performance against the Pittsburgh Steelers which showcased his big-play ability.

Dobson, though, played in just two snaps in Sunday’s impressive victory over the Denver Broncos, whereas fellow rookie receiver Kenbrell Thompkins had a second straight strong week in the passing game. At the beginning of the season, Thompkins looked like a more polished receiver than Dobson, and he received more opportunities than Dobson did despite his own struggles. But Dobson asserted himself as the Patriots “X” receiver in the middle of the season, so that led to a healthy scratch for “KT” at one point.

Thompkins is back on track after that blip off the radar, and it sounds like he could receive more playing time going forward due to his solid play and due to an injury Aaron Dobson.

It was very shocking to see that Dobson played in just two snaps against the Broncos, because no injury was reported on Sunday. That made it seem like Bill Belichick simply dumped Dobson on the bench for performance-based issues, but that simply wasn’t the case. It was ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss who first brought up the point that Dobson likely suffered an injury on Sunday, and now the Boston Herald’s Jeff Howe reports that Dobson is not at practice today due to an ankle injury.

The Patriots face the Houston Texans this week, so it will be interesting to see if Dobson is able to play. Keep a close eye on his status going forward, especially since his injury bodes well for Thompkins’s chance at receiving a solid chunk of snaps on Sunday.

Tags: Aaron Dobson Injury Report New England Patriots

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