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Aaron Dobson: Patriots receiver had permanent screw inserted into foot

Aaron Dobson #17 of the New England Patriots catches a pass before running it in for a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Gillette Stadium on November 3, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.
Aaron Dobson #17 of the New England Patriots catches a pass before running it in for a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Gillette Stadium on November 3, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

New England Patriots wide receiver Aaron Dobson has yet to be cleared for practice following surgery to repair a stress fracture in his foot. The injury slowed Dobson towards the end of his rookie season, but the team remained optimistic that Dobson would make a major leap this season. But the healing process has been slower than expected. According to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald on Tuesday, Dobson had a permanent screw inserted into his foot during surgery back in March.

The fact that a screw was used to repair the stress fracture adds to the severity of the injury. It is also indicative as to why it is taking Dobson longer than expected to fully recover from the invasive surgery. Howe also reported that Dobson didn’t begin running until July and his conditioning will need to be monitored by team doctors as to when he is able to return.

Because of the high risk of stress fractures reoccurring, the Patriots medial staff is being cautious with Dobson to ensure that his fully healthy before he returns to the field, therefore there is no timetable for when he will return from the PUP list.

Last season, Dobson was beginning to emerge as a top receiver before the injury slowed him down and although Dobson is still in the rehabbing process, he remains optimistic that he will be able to be a factor in the Patriots offense and give Tom Brady another reliable target.

When healthy, Aaron Dobson has the speed and size to be what the Patriots have been looking for as far as an outside receiver. He did have a few drops last season, but he does have the ability to break away from his defenders and make deep plays. Dobson still figures to be a big part of the Patriots passing game.