On the eve of free agency, Aaron Dobson underwent surgery to repair a lingering stress fracture in his left foot, according to multiple media reports. As a result, the receiver, entering his second NFL season, could be sidelined for 2-3 months, which means he could miss part or all of the team's springtime organized team activity (OTA) and mini-camp practices.
Dobson sustained the injury in a November game at Gillette Stadium against Denver, missed the following three games, then returned for the regular season finale against Buffalo, during which he aggravated the injury. That caused him to miss the team's first playoff game against Indianapolis, but he returned to suit up against Denver in the AFC Championship Game.
Those same media reports indicated that Dobson had been asked by the team's medical staff to rest his foot during the beginning of the offseason, in hopes of avoiding surgery, but ultimately, an operation was necessary to fix the problem.
Dobson recently told the Boston Herald that he'd planned to visit California to work out with quarterback Tom Brady if surgery were not required. Those plans, it seems, must be scrapped now. As a rookie, the second-round draft choice started nine of the 12 games in which he appeared last season, catching 37 passes for 519 yards and four scores.
Dobson's injury notwithstanding, the Patriots would still have needed to address the wide receiver position in the upcoming free agency and NFL Draft periods. This news only reinforces the need for New England to add talent and depth at a depleted position on the overall roster.