FOXBORO -- It appears as though the Patriots will be without one of their best outside-the-numbers threats in the passing game when the Colts come to town for a Divisional Round playoff matchup Saturday night.
Rookie receiver Aaron Dobson was missing from the start of the Patriots sweats-and-shells practice on the Gillette Stadium game turf Thursday. If he misses the session outright -- which we'll find out later today on the team's injury report -- that will mean he has missed all three practices this week due to a foot injury, making his availability for Saturday highly unlikely.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick normally does not allow a player to play after missing a week's worth of practices, and Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald pointed out today that of the four Patriots who missed two practices in a week this season and returned for the third, only one, Sebastian Vollmer in Week 4, played in that weekend's game.
If Dobson does not play, expect the Patriots to use a variety of receivers in different spots versus the Colts. Kenbrell Thompkins, Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman have all seen action on the outside this season and could be there again against coach Chuck Pagano's defense.