Dobson (foot) progressing toward return

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots rookie receiver Aaron Dobson, who has missed the past three games with a foot injury, is inching closer to a return.

After returning to practice last Friday, Dobson has been present for both practices this week. On Thursday, he drew a large crowd of reporters in the locker room and was asked if he thinks he has a chance to play Sunday against the Ravens.

"I think so," he answered. "I'm just going through the week, trying to progress, and will see how it feels."

Dobson was in a starting role at the time of his injury; he left the team's Nov. 24 win over the Broncos with a foot injury in the second half.

"It was tough but I'm just trying to get off that [line of thinking] and trying to get back on the field, doing what I can at practice, trying to improve," he said.

Dobson, who at 6-foot-3 brings height and leaping ability that sets him apart from the team's other receivers, was asked if a three-game absence might affect the momentum he had built. He has totaled 35 catches for 492 yards and four touchdowns on the season.

"I feel like it can affect you if you let it," he answered. "I just stayed in my playbook and tried to keep an edge."

Conditioning-wise, Dobson said he feels OK.

"I haven't played in a couple weeks, so I feel like I can improve on that a little bit," he said.