The New England Patriots’ injury report from Thursday did not change on Friday, meaning RT Sebastian Vollmer did not practice with the team(back injury). That likely means that he will not suit up in the team’s season opener Monday night in Miami. Next in line on the Patriots’ depth chart at offensive tackle is first-round pick Nate Solder, and he will likely be starting in Vollmer’s place. Solder was drafted to eventually take over for LT Matt Light, but circumstances will force him to play on the right side.
Luckily, while Solder hasn’t spent much time at right tackle, he has seen some game action at right tackle.
During the Patriots’ final preseason game against the New York Giants, Solder started at RT due to Vollmer’s injury. He played 18 snaps (including penalties) at RT with the first offense. After reviewing Solder’s play at RT, he didn’t appear to struggle or have any awkward moments playing at the opposite side of the line. The only negative I saw was on a busted screen pass to Danny Woodhead, where Solder’s man read the play and was able to elude him to break up the pass. It should be noted though that Solder was not lining up against any of the Giants’ starters.
Solder was questioned by reporters Friday as to whether he was up to the challenge of playing against the Dolphins’ potent pass rusher Cameron Wake.
“I’m absolutely ready to go,” Solder said. “Whatever situation I’m put in, it’s because the coaches have confidence for me to be in there, and I’m happy to be there.
“I’m going to play wherever I need to play,” Solder later added.
Whether Nate Solder can hold up against a premier pass rusher like Wake could go a long way in determining the outcome of the game. We all witnessed what happened to the Patriots’ offense when Tom Brady was getting hurried, hit, and sacked against the Lions in the third preseason game.