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Nate Solder injury update: Patriots offensive tackle could miss the season opener against the Chiefs

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The Patriots offensive lineman hasn’t practiced in a while.

New England Patriots OT Nate Solder’s return to practice was short-lived. After being held out from being a full participant from August 3rd to August 22nd, Solder did not travel with the team to face the Detroit Lions in the third week of the preseason.

And now Solder is absent from practice again, casting doubts on his availability for the start of the 2017 regular season against the Kansas City Chiefs. Solder also missed the season opener of the 2016 regular season against the Arizona Cardinals.

The Herald’s Jeff Howe reports, “Nate Solder’s injury is not considered serious or a long-term issue, per source. Too close to make a call on opener, but don’t rule it out.”

So there’s still a chance that Solder will be available for the start of the season, but the fact that he’s missed so much time at practice points to back-up Cameron Fleming being the likely starting left tackle to start for the second-straight year.

EDIT: According to Howe, Solder “participated” at practice “in some capacity.” Still, not being a full participant at this stage of the preseason casts doubt on his availability.