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Who says preseason games are meaningless?
Sure, the only snap that Tom Brady played in the New England Patriots’ final preseason game was as the holder on an extra point attempt, and typical starters Rob Gronkowski, Jerod Mayo, Dont’a Hightower, and Sebastian Vollmer, among others, didn’t even dress for Thursday night’s “game.”
Nonetheless, last night’s game was good for a couple notable takeaways, beginning with Jimmy Garoppolo getting the start and playing the entire contest. But perhaps even more importantly, wide receiver Aaron Dobson, who began training camp on the PUP list after offseason surgery for a stress fracture in his left foot, suited up for the first time this preseason. And what a debut it was.
Though he only had three catches for 57 yards (still good enough to lead the team in receiving yards), one of them was good for a 33-yard touchdown reception from Garoppolo, in which Dobson shed a defender trying to drag him down in order to turn, leap, and make the catch while falling into the endzone. Check out the video here.
Here’s hoping Dobson can carry over some similar verticality and big-play ability when the Patriots play their first real game a week from Sunday and Brady is doing more than holding.