FOXBORO, Mass. — Right tackle Sebastian Vollmer's chances to play Monday night against the Dolphins might be dwindling.
Vollmer, who is dealing with a back injury, has missed all four of the Patriots' practices this week and was the lone absentee Friday for the third consecutive day. Head coach Bill Belichick doesn't usually start players who haven't practiced leading up to the game, which makes Saturday's session extra important for his playing status.
If Vollmer can't play, the Patriots will start rookie Nate Solder at right tackle, and they might need to activate Thomas Welch off the practice squad to give the team a third tackle against the Dolphins.
Friday's practice was conducted in shorts and shells after two consecutive days of fully padded sessions.