New England Patriots wide receiver Aaron Dobson looks like he is going to miss another game after not being spotted at practice today. If Dobson does indeed miss this Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Browns it will mark the second consecutive game that he has missed. This would certainly be a concern.
Dobson suffered a sprained foot in the first half of the game against the Denver Broncos and never returned. Then he missed last Sunday’s game against the Houston Texans. Although we have no information as to the severity of his injury, Patriots fans have every right to wonder if Dobson’s sprained foot is more severe than Patriots officials are letting on.
Any NFL player that has suffered from a sprained foot can miss various amounts of time depending on how severe the sprain is. Usually, players who suffer from low-level sprains either return the following game or miss just one game. Dobson has already missed one game and is not even practicing a week and a half later. This is why it is fair to wonder if the rookie wide receiver has a high-level sprain.
Even though Dobson’s play has been inconsistent, his importance to the offense cannot be understated. Dobson is the only Patriots pass catcher that can consistently get separation down the field. He has shown this ability in multiple games, regardless of whether or not Tom Brady has been able to hit him. Those who watch the Patriots play can see that Dobson is open much more than the box score indicates.
When the going gets tough, Brady will need a pass catcher like Dobson to be there. Defenders are going to start jamming the Patriots’ pass catchers and covering the middle of the field so long as Brady has no deep threat to throw to. If Dobson is in the lineup he can make defenders pay for playing Patriots ‘pass catchers on the short routes. That is why Dobson was drafted, and that is why his health is very important to the New England offense.
Philip Alexander is a New England Patriots writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @steely0906, “like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.