Vollmer back at practice, still 'day-to-day'


Vollmer back at practice, still 'day-to-day'

By Phil Perry

FOXBORO -- The way Nate Solder played on Monday night may afford the Patriots to be a little more cautious with Sebastian Vollmer's back injury. But Vollmer, who sat out of the Patriots win in Miami, has been practicing this week and hopes he's well enough to play Sunday against the Chargers.

"Good to get back out there," Vollmer said. "We'll have to see about me playing Sunday. So far, I'm out at practice and doing what I can. Trying to get better. When it feels right, it feels right."

Vollmer underwent back surgery while at the University of Houston but would not say that his current injury goes back to his college days.

"Im only looking forward," said Vollmer. "Its day-to-day, well see what happens."

While Vollmer was non-committal when he discussed his status for Sunday, his coach said he expected Vollmer to play -- as well as the team's two other tackles Matt Light and Solder.

"I'd expect all three of those guys to play," Belichick said Friday. "Light, Solder, Vollmer. I'd think they'd all play."

Solder was solid at right tackle going up against one of the best pass-rushers in the league in Miami's Cameron Wake. The rookie from Colorado was called for one hold and allowed Wake one sack, but Solder showed good footwork and often finished plays by smothering Wake into the turf when Wake tried to get low and rush around him.

Vollmer said he wasn't surprised by the rookie's debut.

"You expect certain things," he said. "He stepped up to the plate and had a good game."

He went on to explain that the Patriots emphasize versatility on the line so that when injuries happen, they're able to compensate. It's why Solder -- brought in as a left tackle -- was able to fill in at right tackle. It's also why Dan Connolly made such a quick transition from guard to center when Dan Koppen left Monday night's game with a broken ankle.

"That's what we do in practice and in training camp," Vollmer said. "You learn each position and try to prepare as well as you can for it. Step in and do good."

Follow Phil Perry on Twitter at @PhilAPerry.

Perry's Patriots 53-man roster projection


Perry's Patriots 53-man roster projection

With New England Patriots organized workouts finished until next month, Phil Perry puts together another 53-man roster projection.

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Affleck offers passionate Brady defense when asked about Deflategate


Affleck offers passionate Brady defense when asked about Deflategate

When the topic of Deflategate was broached on HBO's Any Given Wednesday with Bill Simmons, which debuted this week, Ben Affleck became all kinds of fired up.

"What they did was suspend Tom Brady for four days for not giving them his [expletive] cellphone," Affleck said. "I would never give an organization as leak-prone as the NFL my [expletive] cellphone . . . so you can just look through my emails and listen to my voicemails?"

Affleck grew up in Cambridge, Mass. and is a passionate Patriots fan. He made no attempts to hide his fandom, and his appreciation for Brady, as he and Simmons (also a Patriots fan) discussed the football-deflation controversy that has now lasted well over a year. 

Affleck, who said he would want to cast himself as Brady if ever a Deflategate movie was made, harped on the fact that the league wanted Brady to turn over his phone. 

"Maybe Tom Brady is so [expletive] classy and such a [expletive] gentleman," Affleck said, "that he doesn’t want people to know that he may have reflected on his real opinion on some of his co-workers."

Brady is waiting for the Second Circuit to make a decision as to whether or not it will rehear his case against the NFL. Earlier this offseason, the Second Circuit reinstated Brady's four-game suspension issued by the league when a three-judge panel ruled in favor of the NFL, 2-1. 

Pro Football Talk wrote on Thursday that a decision from the Second Circuit could come at any time. If the rehearding request is denied, Brady could then take the case to the Supreme Court. Should the Second Circuit grant Brady a rehearing, his suspension would be delaed until the court reached a decision. In that case, Brady could potentially play the entire 2016 season before a decision came to pass.