By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com Celtics Insider
FOXBORO Ras-I Dowling is back on the practice field with the New England Patriots, trying his best to put a familiar injury behind him.
Dowling, the Patriots' second-round pick in this past spring's NFL draft, has been out for most of training camp because of a hamstring injury.
The 6-foot-1 rookie from Virginia addressed the media on Wednesday, but was mum on the injury.
When asked about his goals for the next couple of weeks, he said, "just getting better everyday; taking one day at a time."
Having already suffered a similar injury, Dowling doesn't really have much of a choice.
After a strong junior season in 2009 at the University of Virginia, an assortment of injuries -- among them, a right hamstring injury -- kept Dowling sidelined for all but five games as a senior.
In March, Dowling reportedly pulled out of a workout early due to what NFL.com described at the time as, a "strained right hamstring injury."
It is unclear if the hamstring that has been a problem in the past is the same hamstring that has limited his participation in practice with the Patriots thus far.
Fortunately for the Pats, Dowling is not a player that they came into the season counting on to make an impact other than as a contributor on special teams.
With a number of veteran cornerbacks in camp, Dowling has plenty of experienced players at his position to help him become better acclimated to the Patriots system.
When asked about what the veterans have told him thus far, Dowling replied, "I'm just trying to get better, day-by-day, to be out there."
He added, "just worry about myself; that's all I can worry about right now."
Spending time studying video or in the weight room are two of the more common ways for players to improve while being out with an injury.
When asked what he's doing most to prepare himself to be on the field, Dowling responded, "everything I can possibly do to get better; that's all I can do."