The New England Patriots finally received rookie wide receiver Aaron Dobson back at practice today, meaning that he is fully expected to play in this week’s AFC Championship Game against the Denver Broncos. Dobson aggravated a foot sprain in the Patriots Week 17 win over the Buffalo Bills and hasn’t practiced or played since, but he was expected to return against Denver and seems like a lock to play. The best deep threat and playmaker among the Patriots wide receivers, Dobson’s status is even more important with Kenbrell Thompkins questionable after suffering an injury last week, and Dobson’s return to practice is honestly the biggest news out of Patriots practice today.
But the biggest news in the headlines is the absence of star quarterback Tom Brady from practice, and there’s always a huge ripple effect in the news whenever Brady isn’t practicing. Most beat writers have wisely decided to not draw any conclusions, as most people realize that it’s likely a non-issue. In fact, most beat writers stated that their gut feeling is that Brady and long snapper Danny Aiken are merely sick, and that was also the explanation given for the fact that Brady’s press conference was pushed back.
The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is shockingly mum on the subject (sarcasm, of course), but Rapoport was able to pass along a nugget from a source: Brady is merely sick. At this point, it would be absolutely foolish for anyone to worry about Brady’s chances of playing in the AFCCG this Sunday.