New England Patriots rookie wide receiver Aaron Dobson played in just two snaps in last week’s big win over the Denver Broncos, while fellow rookie wideout Kenbrell Thompkins played an important role in the Patriots 34-31 overtime victory. It was later revealed that Dobson wasn’t benched, but rather injured very early on in the game. The injury completely passed us by at the time, which makes it even more interesting to see that Dobson isn’t on track to play this week.
ESPN Boston’s Field Yates reports that while No. 2 cornerback Alfonzo Dennard (set to cover standout Houston Texans rookie DeAndre Hopkins on Sunday) returned to practice, Aaron Dobson, right tackle Marcus Cannon, and TE Michael Hoomanawanui all missed practice today. Since none of those three players has practiced at all this week, they are all fully expected to be out against the Texans. Cannon’s injury will really hurt the Patriots offensive line, but the Patriots should be fine without Hooman for another week and without Dobson (technically, they didn’t have him healthy last week) against a disappointing Texans team.
Dobson has caught 35 passes for 492 yards and four touchdowns this season, and he’s definitely been the Patriots best deep threat. His ability to make difficult catches with his size and athleticism, as well as his speed to stretch the field vertically make him an ideal “X” receiver. This is the kind of wideout the Patriots have coveted highly and needed ever since Randy Moss left, so it’s been great to see the raw second-round pick out of Marshall develop faster than expected.
Thompkins should do just fine this week, and it will be interesting to see how the more physical, polished wideout of the Patriots rookies does against No. 1 corner Jonathan Joseph, who is excellent in press coverage. “KT” has come on strong of late, and his route-running is probably the second-best among rookies behind Keenan Allen, who is simply in a class of his own.