Patriots wide receiver Aaron Dobson hasn’t looked like the amazing player fans saw when he was at Marshall. (USA TODAY Images)
After an offseason spent trying to get healthy, Aaron Dobson’s season never really got started and on Thursday it came to an end, with the 2nd-year Patriots receiver having been¬†placed on injured reserve.
The move comes after Dobson seemingly suffered a hamstring injury on just his fourth snap¬†of Sunday’s loss to Green Bay, with Dobson pulling up lame on a deep route. ¬†He left the game at that point and didn’t return.
When it was over Dobson took some criticism after both Julian Edelman and Brandon LaFell valiantly fought through injuries of their own in the loss to the Packers. The bad news is, it appears rather than having another opportunity to battle through it, the team made the decision to shelf him for the rest of the season. Now he’ll have plenty of time to get healthy before he tries again in 2014.
Prior to the game he was awarded the coveted black “Practice Player of the Week” jersey, which ultimately ended up being his final accolade of the year. ¬†Many hoped that would be a sign of things to come after five straight weeks of being inactive, and in the third quarter while the team was trailing 23-14, Tom Brady took a shot at giving him an opportunity to make a big play to get his team back in the game.
Aaron Dobson showed flashes in 2013 that haven't carried over into this season." WIDTH=250>
Dobson showed flashes in 2013 that haven’t carried over into this season.
(USA TODAY Images)
But on the attempt Dobson couldn’t catch up to the football and pulled up short, hopping up the sideline in apparent agony before coming out of the game for good.
It more or less was symbolic of his season, which is now over.
The former 2nd round pick out of Marshall was a dynamic receiver in college and his selection was welcomed by Patriots fans who were hoping New England was finally developing a talented long-term piece of Tom Brady’s offense.
Prior to the draft, the team held their annual Pre-Draft Event Presented by ESPN Boston and Dobson was one of the more featured prospects, so when the Patriots took him in the second round there was a lot of hope that there would be more moments like this amazing catch by Dobson.
After missing the first week of his rookie season, Dobson kicked his NFL career off with a bang thanks to a 39 catch and run for a touchdown on his first career reception against the Jets last season in week two.
He peaked in the middle of last season over a three game span against Miami, Pittsburgh and Carolina while scoring a team-leading¬†3 touchdowns over that stretch and made some big plays, including an 81-yard touchdown against the Steelers during a 9-catch, 130 yard two touchdown performance in week nine, his only 100+ yard game of his career thus far. ¬†He also finished as the only player with two receptions that went for over 50 yards last season.
For now that¬†performance against Pittsburgh has¬†been his best game, and it’s hard not to wonder if we’ll ever get to see what else he’s capable of.
Dobson told Mike Reiss last December that he was no stranger to adversity.
“Just dealing with adversity,” Dobson told Reiss when asked what he had learned the most from football. “You go through a lot of it — the whole game is like life, you have ups, downs, interceptions, dropped passes. You have to learn how to shake it off and move on to the next thing, whatever it is, and embrace it.”
Given what he’s faced so far, it will be interesting to see how he responds heading into 2015.