One thing that can derail the excitement that a young player brings to the NFL is injuries, and that is what has happened to Aaron Dobson so far. The rookie wide receiver has flashed in his first season, but simply cannot stay healthy. This has to be a concern going forward.
In reality, Dobson has missed time due to just two injuries. He missed the season opener due to a hamstring injury, but was able to play in the next game (which was just four days later). Then he rattled off 10-straight games played, where Patriots fans got a look at his upside. There were some problems with drops, but Dobson did make some nice plays as well.
After that, he missed three straight games with a foot sprain. Dobson did not appear to be 100 percent healthy when he suited up against the Baltimore Ravens. Then he came up limp in the regular season finale against the Buffalo Bills. Nobody has come out and said what was ailing Dobson, but it looked like he aggravated his previous foot sprain.
So, there you have it. Dobson has played in 12 of a possible 16 games, and at least two of those games were affected by injury. One can tell by watching him that Dobson could really be a future cog at the wide receiver position. He is big, tall and fast. And if Bill Belichick drafts another tight end to go along with Rob Gronkowski, Dobson will (and should) be counted on to be one of the two wide receivers in the two tight end offense.
None of this is possible if Dobson keeps getting injured. Injuries not only limit a player’s effectiveness, but also make coaches forget about how much of an impact that player can have. That is exactly what could happen to Dobson if he does not stay off of the shelf.
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.