New England Patriots second-year wide receiver Aaron Dobson missed four games last season with a foot injury, and we found out later that his injury was a stress fracture that required surgery in early March. It only seemed like a minor procedure at the time, but we started to figure out that something was up when Dobson missed offseason workouts and was placed on the active/PUP list for training camp. He still hasn’t practiced over four months after the surgery, so it’s clear that the procedure was bigger than initially indicated; this isn’t just a matter of a slow recovery.
Now, we know exactly what is up, thanks to the Boston Herald’s Jeff Howe, who was told by sources that Dobson needed a “permanent screw inserted” into his foot. That’s not a minor procedure at all, and it means that Dobson’s foot could become a long-term issue. I’m sure the Patriots will be as cautious going forward with his foot injury, but the offseason time missed doesn’t bode well for Dobson, who still has things to clean up after entering the league as a raw player.
If Dobson can stay healthy as a rookie, then he’s still a legitimate breakout candidate, though, again, the time he’s missed this offseason might hurt that cause. He clearly has all the tools to be a great “X” receiver for the Patriots, as he has an excellent catch radius, plenty of size, and great long speed. Dobson averaged 14 yards per reception with four touchdowns as a rookie, as he flashed and quickly got a handle of things mid-season. His injury is worth monitoring closely, and the 2014 season is shaping up to be an interesting one for Dobson, who is still on breakout watch until further notice.