FOXBORO, Mass. — The news that New England Patriots right tackle Sebastian Vollmer could miss the entire 2016 season hit the team’s left tackle particularly hard.
“Oh, man,” Nate Solder said Monday, one day after multiple outlets reported Vollmer likely is headed to injured reserve. “I love Sebastian, and whatever he needs or whatever it is, I’ll always be there for him.”
Vollmer and Solder have been close ever since the Patriots drafted the latter in 2011. Vollmer was drafted two years earlier and is New England’s longest-tenured offensive lineman.
“Sebastian is an awesome guy,” said Solder, whose stall in the Patriots’ locker room sits adjacent to Vollmer’s. “He’s one of my best friends. There’s so many things (he brings to the offensive line). But as a group, we’ve just got to move forward.”
The Patriots likely will move forward with sixth-year pro Marcus Cannon filling Vollmer’s usual spot. Cannon started a career-high eight games last season after Solder’s season-ending biceps enjoy pushed Vollmer to the left side, and he’s run with the first-team offense throughout the summer.
“Just trust that wherever they want you to go, they have trust in you, and you trust them,” Cannon said Monday, describing his mindset. “That’s what it is. If they want you to play there, that must mean they have trust you can play that position, wherever they put me.”
New England also has a hole to fill at right guard, as Shaq Mason reportedly is recovering from a broken hand. Josh Kline, who played in 14 games last season and started all but one of them, got the nod at right guard in Thursday’s preseason game against the Chicago Bears.
“I’ll tell you this,” Solder said. “I’ve really enjoyed the group that we’ve had. We have had some productive practices, and whoever it is in there — whatever group it is — we should all be on the same page and ready to go.
” … the way that we practice and the way that we play, whoever’s out there, we’re ready to go. So, that’s kind of our philosophy on that.”
Thumbnail photo via Stew Milne/USA TODAY Sports Images
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