Shortly after breaking the news that New England Patriots running back Dion Lewis is going to need a second surgery, Globe reporter Jim McBride had another bit of bad news for Patriots fans.
Franchise right tackle Sebastian Vollmer is expected to head to the injured reserve.
BREAKING: #Patriots OT Sebastian Vollmer, who has been on PUP with an undisclosed injury, is likely headed to IR, per league source.— Jim McBride (@globejimmcbride) August 21, 2016
Vollmer has missed the entire preseason while serving on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list and apparently the injury is big enough to sideline the veteran for the full season.
Edit: the new injure reserve (IR) rules means the team does not have to designate a player as “short-term” at the beginning. They can reactivate any player that has spent 6 weeks on the IR. Vollmer could still return in the middle of the year. Since Vollmer is on the PUP list still, he will probably remain there for the first half of the season unless the team is 100% sure he’s done.
Vollmer has been a staple on the Patriots offensive line since he was drafted in the second round of the 2009 Draft.
The Patriots have played Marcus Cannon at right tackle during the preseason and, fortunately, Cannon has been much better than he was last year. Hopefully offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia can make sure Cannon is playing at a high enough level.
The depth chart at tackle is now Nate Solder, Marcus Cannon, LaAdrian Waddle, and Cameron Fleming. 3rd round rookie left guard Joe Thuney could play tackle in a pinch, as could back-up center Bryan Stork. It appears that a veteran tackle is now a quiet need for the roster.
As for Vollmer, he will be a free agent after this season and turns 33 years old next summer. He struggled last season after flipping to the left side to replace the injured Nate Solder. He could return to the Patriots on a cheap deal, but it looks like his career is coming towards a close.
Edit: CSNNE’s Tom Curran reports that Vollmer has been battling a hip injury.
Edit: NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that Vollmer has been battling a shoulder injury.
Edit: Boston Herald’s Jeff Howe reports that Vollmer has been battling an ankle injury.