Following up on Ras-I Dowling

In his "Monday Morning Quarterback" piece on SI.com today, Peter King provides a progress report on second-year Patriots cornerback Ras-I Dowling.

"The hip rehab is going very well. He'll be ready for most if not all of his offseason work," King writes.

This is obviously good news for the Patriots -- Dowling was starting and playing a lot before suffering the hip injury in Week 2 -- and it was the springboard to pursue a bit more information on the 2011 second-round pick.

A source familiar with Dowling's injury and progress said that he's remained in the area this offseason and is showing up at Gillette Stadium on a daily basis for rehab work. The source described Dowling as having made "great progress" after undergoing a surgical procedure.

The surgery wasn't initially in the plans when the Patriots placed Dowling on injured reserve in late October with a torn tendon in his leg. Initially, the thought process was that Dowling could have a full recovery without surgery, but it was ultimately decided that a "clean-up" would give him a better chance of not re-injuring the hip.

This created a tougher offseason for Dowling in terms of rehab, but he's currently hitting all his checkpoints.

The 6-foot-1, 198-pound Dowling projects as a key cog in the Patriots' secondary in 2012. The team selected him 33rd overall last season, which was the first pick of the second round.