BOSTON (CBS) – Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald joined Adam Jones on 98.5 The Sports Hub to answer some questions surrounding the New England Patriots before training camp, including Aaron Dobson.

Dobson, drafted in the second round of the 2013 NFL draft with the 59th overall pick, got off to a slow start in his rookie year after a number of key drops hurt his confidence and the developing of a rapport with Tom Brady.

It took him awhile to get going, but Dobson’s statline at the end of the year (519 yards 4 touchdowns) actually bested Deion Branch (489 yards 2 touchdowns) in his rookie year — so fans had high hopes for the former Marshall product in his sophomore campaign.

However, a foot injury suffered in Week 12 caused him to miss three games down the stretch and limited his availability in the postseason. The nagging injury (left foot stress fracture) was operated on back in March and forced his absence from organized team activities in the spring.

Dobson will begin training camp on the physically unable to perform list, and that is just one of the health concerns surrounding the Pats.

“When he had that March 10th surgery it looked like three months was about the longest end of that window. A lot of people are wondering why it took him so long to have that surgery, but both sides — the team and Dobson — felt like they could wait it out and let the thing heal on its own. It didn’t,” said Howe. “So they went to that deadline and were prepared for him to miss all the way through mini-camp. He did.”

Dobson, with his on-field absence during the critical offseason months, runs the risk of falling behind the lesser-regarded pass catchers on the team and training camp will be a whirlwind for the 23-year-old.

“The development from year one to year two is one of the big cliches in football. That is when you are really supposed to break out and take that next step. What we saw from Dobson last year was very promising. He’s a guy that could be a starting outside receiver in this league. But missing the whole nine-week offseason program and missing the start of training camp is going to be tough for him to overcome. He’s still behind the likes of Kenbrell Thompkins and Josh Boyce, who both had excellent springs. Guys went out there and performed, so Dobson is going to have to re-earn that spot. Even if he starts as early as Thursday it’s going to be a tough month, month-and-a-half for him to re-claim his spot.”

 How concerned are you about Aaron Dobson? Listen below for the full discussion with Jeff Howe:


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