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Logan Mankins helped off field with ankle injury, returns later, Aaron Dobson (foot) won’t return

12.29.13 at 5:21 pm ET

FOXBORO — In a season already marred by season-ending injuries to five starters, the Patriots watched their Pro Bowl left guard Logan Mankins helped off the field with an ankle injury. The Patriots listed his return as questionable. Just two series later, Mankins was back on the field.

Mankins was providing the seal block that sprang LeGarrette Blount for a 36-yard touchdown run in the second quarter when his legs appeared to buckle. As Blount was running for paydirt, several Patriots offensive lineman waved frantically for medical staff to hurry onto the field and assist.

Mankins was tended to on the sideline and then gingerly made his way to the locker room steps behind the Patriots bench and slowly down the steps into the trainer’s room.

Mankins, who played through an ACL tear in Super Bowl XLVI against the Giants, returned two series later and provided the lead block on a 22-yard screen pass to Shane Vereen.

Meanwhile, Aaron Dobson appeared to re-injure his left foot on a deep post route early in the first quarter when he sprinted for a deep ball from Tom Brady. After the pass fell incomplete, Dobson came up lame and limped off the field. Dobson missed three games after injuring his left foot in the Nov. 24 win over the Broncos. He wore a protective walking boot for two weeks before returning to practice. After initially being listed as questionable to return with a foot injury, he was ruled out of the game shortly after halftime.

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