Aaron Dobson, Dominique Easley practice for Patriots

AP

Shortly before the Patriots started practice on Monday, coach Bill Belichick said that wide receiver Aaron Dobson and defensive tackle Dominique Easley were “making good progress” in their returns from injury.

When practice started, the two players put action behind Belichick’s words. Both players suited up and took part in practice with the team for the first time since training camp got underway.

Adam Kurkjian of the Boston Herald reports that neither player appeared to be going full speed during the session. Dobson, returning from having a screw inserted in the foot he fractured last year, ran a drill working on screens but didn’t go against any defensive pressure during the session. Easley, who tore his ACL at the University of Florida last season, did some individual drills and then worked on a tackling dummy.

Neither player figures to play in this week’s preseason tilt and there may be some time to go before they are cleared for game action. None of that is possible without taking a first step forward, though, and the two Patriots did that on Monday.