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Aaron Dobson: ‘I just have to do what I have to do to help the team’

01.17.14 at 12:32 pm ET
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Aaron Dobson could be a key factor in Sunday's AFC championship. (AP)

Aaron Dobson could be a key factor in Sunday’s AFC championship. (AP)

FOXBORO — He is regarded as the Patriots’ best pure deep threat. He could make a big difference, especially deep against an aging and injured Broncos secondary.

But the question is: Will Aaron Dobson be ready to play Sunday against Champ Bailey, Quentin Jammer and the Broncos in the AFC championship.

Dobson, who re-injured his left foot against the Bills in the first half of the regular season finale on Dec. 29, returned to practice this week and has been officially listed as limited on the team’s injury report.

“I really don’t know right now,” Dobson said Friday morning before the team’s final practice. “I just have to go out there [to practice] and see how it feels and go from there.”

The rookie initially sustained a stress fracture in the left foot the first time the Patriots played the Broncos on Nov. 24. He missed the next three games. He returned against the Ravens on Dec. 22 before pulling up while running a deep post route against the Bills. Dobson missed practice all week during the bye and last week leading up to the Colts game. He missed the divisional playoff before returning to practice on Wednesday.

“It’€™s frustrating, but I’€™m trying to improve, keep getting better, keep rehabbing and keep doing what I have to do to go on the trip,” Dobson said.

“It was hard, just to watch my team battle [the Colts] without me but they pulled it out, so I’’m glad I get another opportunity hopefully to get back on the field this Sunday.”

In his rookie year out of Marshall, Dobson caught 37 passes for 519 yards and four touchdowns in 12 games.

Dobson admitted to having to shake off some rust but said his work on mental reps in practice has kept him sharp.

“It was just getting a feel for the game and getting back on the field,” Dobson said of his first return on Dec. 22. “Just sitting out for a while, [you have to] just get the timing back right [and] just things of that nature.”

The Broncos have lost cornerback Chris Harris to an ACL injury but still have Bailey in the secondary.

‘€œIt’€™s football, man. We’€™re both in the NFL,” Dobson said. “He’€™s a great player and has been doing it for years, so I’€™m going to have to go out there and play good.

‘€œI just try to go out there and do my job. I don’€™t try to put too much on my shoulders. I just have to go out there and do what I have to do and do what I have to do to help the team.’€

Does he think of himself as a potential difference-maker?

“I just try to go out there and do my job, I don’€™t really try to put too much on my shoulders,” he said. “I’ve got to go out there and do what I have to do and do what I have to do to help the team.”

Read More: Aaron Dobson, AFC Championship, Champ Bailey, Denver Broncos Print  |  Bark It Up!  |  Digg It
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