Ras-I Dowling is healthy and will likely be one of the starting corners for the New England Patriots, according to a report from Pro Football Weekly. Dowling, drafted by New England 33rd in the 2011 draft, missed almost the entire 2011 season with a torn tendon in his leg. From Pro Football Weekly:
Dowling is finally healthy and in his first full offseason, and we hear that ideally, Dowling will start at the right corner spot opposite McCourty in a secondary that, like last offseason, still needs to improve. The team's confidence in Dowling was illustrated by its decision to thrust him into the starting role as a rookie.
Dowling would be expected to move into the starting corner position opposite Devin McCourty, which would move Kyle Arrington into the slot. The Patriots can certainly use a healthy secondary. The team gave up 293.9 yards per game in the 2011 regular season, second worst in the league.