After leaving the game Sunday vs. the Dallas Cowboys, New England Patriots left tackle Nate Solder will be missing the rest of the regular season after an MRI revealed that he has suffered a torn right biceps. Solder was in his fifth season with the team.
Drafted by the team with the 17th pick of the 2009 draft, Solder was drafted to be the leader of the offensive line and be the security blanket of future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady. So far Solder has been doing a fantastic job at protecting Brady, and creating holes in the running game ever since coming into the league. The team rewarded him for his play this past offseason, with a two year contract extension worth $20.62 million dollars keeping him in New England through 2018.
There is a reason why New England paid him; Solder is a big guy with a good frame, good run blocking and pass blocking. His strength is fighting in the trenches with the defensive linemen, trying to get after Brady blocking the linemen. Creating a clean pocket for Brady to find an open receiver. A lot of people remember him from last year AFC title game, when the team did a trick play, where Solder played tight end, resulting in a touchdown reception by him.
The offensive line is taking a big hit from Solder being out for the year, since he is the leader of the offensive line and the best offensive linemen the team has. With Solder being out, a lot of people have to step up the play on the offensive line in his absence ultimately protecting Brady’s blindside and creating holes for the running game.
The person that will have the most effect from this injury is quarterback Tom Brady. Seeing from the pass rush that the Cowboys got to him in the first half, it is going to get a lot tougher for him to stay in the pocket now that the main linemen is out for the season. Knowing Brady, he will most likely make adjustments to his game plan.
The running game might be less effective as well now that Solder is out. If running back Dion Lewis can keep producing the numbers that he has been putting up this season, the running game will be fine in my eyes.