Aaron Dobson’s second NFL season came to a close after four snaps against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. The New England Patriots wide receiver was officially placed on injured reserve with a hamstring injury Thursday afternoon.
The Boston Herald‘s Jeff Howe was first to report the move.
Dobson’s injury transpired with 1:40 remaining in the third quarter, as the wideout sprinted down the right sideline in pursuit of an overhead pass from quarterback Tom Brady. The ball hit the Lambeau Field grass, and the 2013 second-round pick landed three yards behind it.
Dobson limped off slowly before the team’s training staff checked on his right leg. He was ruled out for the rest of the game shortly thereafter. The injury marks the end of a trying season for the 6-foot-3, 200-pound Marshall product. Week 13 was just the fourth time Dobson was active for the Patriots this season. And he was named practice player of the week leading up to it, despite being inactive for five consecutive games before it.
The 23-year-old caught three passes for 38 yards this season, but saw his opportunities dwindle with the rise of starting “X” receiver Brandon LaFell and the activation of fellow vertical threat Brian Tyms on Oct. 6.
Dobson caught 37 passes for 519 yards and four touchdowns in 12 games as a rookie last season, before a stress fracture in his foot derailed what was already the most productive rookie year for a Patriots wideout in the Brady era. He missed all of offseason workouts after undergoing surgery to repair the stress fracture, and made his way off the physically unable to perform list on Aug. 11.
“It was hard, you know. It’s always ups and downs, adversity you got to go through,” Dobson said of his recovery during training camp.
But recovering from the lost time proved difficult. Dobson’s final reception of the year came against the Buffalo Bills on Oct. 12.
Now, he’ll have to look ahead to 2015. And the team will have to look ahead to filling an opening on the 53-man roster for the rest of 2014.
Defensive tackle Sealver Siliga, who was placed on injured reserve-designated to return in September, headlines the candidates.