Dobson, Easley practice for first time

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Second-year receiver Aaron Dobson and 2014 first-round draft choice Dominique Easley were dressed in uniform Monday and prepared to practice for the first time since New England Patriots training camp opened July 24.

Dobson, who underwent surgery on a stress fracture in his left foot March 10, had opened camp on the active/physically unable to perform list.

Easley, a defensive tackle who tore both ACLs over a three-season span at the University of Florida, had opened camp on the active/non-football-injury list.

"They're making good progress," coach Bill Belichick said before practice.

The return of Dobson and Easley was one of the top storylines for the Patriots, who are practicing in light shoulder pads and helmets this afternoon in advance of joint practices with the Eagles on Tuesday and Wednesday. Belichick said Tuesday's joint practice with Philadelphia will be in full pads.

At 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds, Dobson gives the Patriots more of an outside presence at receiver. A second-round draft choice in 2013, he started nine games last season and finished with 37 receptions for 519 yards and four touchdowns.

Meanwhile, the 6-foot-2, 290-pound Easley is an explosive interior pass-rusher who started 26 games over four years at Florida and finished with 81 tackles, 5.5 sacks and 18 tackles for a loss.