When Aaron Dobson underwent surgery March 10 to repair a stress fracture in his left foot, a realistic chance existed he would miss the Patriots' entire offseason workout program, including minicamp. That chance will become a reality tomorrow when the Pats wrap up minicamp at Gillette Stadium.
The main question: Why has it taken so long?
The original estimated timetable for Dobson's recovery was 2-3 months. The longer side of that would have obviously put him on the field in time for this week's string of workouts, but there's really no need to panic. At this point, it's an extra week, and the risk-reward factor doesn't measure up.
Dobson's bone has healed, and he is still trying to regain the proper strength in his foot to endure the stress of camp, according to a source. Like any injury, if the muscles around the bone haven't healed, the risk of re-injury remains high. The Patriots felt no need to rush him onto the field this week, with the obvious goal of having him ready for training camp, which can begin as early as July 23, the source said.
As a rookie, Dobson caught a respectable 37 passes for 519 yards and four touchdowns, but he flashed some big play ability in his 5-130-2 outing against the Steelers in early November. His FP/T (1.05) was average, but if he can beat out Brandon LaFell and Kenbrell Thompkins for a starting job, he should produce with Tom Brady throwing the ball. After missing all the offseason activities, he needs to have a good camp to win the job.