Photo: Beth Hart, Flickr
BY NICK ST. DENIS
They got a little help over the weekend with starting right tackle Sebastian Vollmer being activated off the PUP list. Marcus Cannon, who will be Vollmer's game day replacement until he's ready, struggled Monday against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Vollmer, who practiced in front of the media for the first time Wednesday, had already begun working on the field with the team sometime between Saturday and Wednesday, according to Patriots coach Bill Belichick.
The fourth-year veteran played in just seven games last season due to multiple injuries and isn't sure if he'll be good to go for the team's Week 1 opener against the Tennessee Titans.
"I have no idea. I'm obviously making progress, working as hard as I can, and if i'm ready, I'm ready. If I'm not, I'm not," Vollmer told ESPN Boston. "I'm obviously hoping so and doing whatever I can to do it."
Tight end Daniel Fells also came off the PUP list last weekend and began practicing Wednesday. While he's projected to be the third tight end behind Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, Fells is a stout blocker and certainly can be used to help New England's struggling offensive tackles, namely left tackle Nate Solder.
Solder is taking over for the retired Matt Light, who was quarterback Tom Brady's longtime blindside protector. The second-year lineman regularly got beat by the front-seven defenders he faced the last two weeks when his team took on the New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
With Solder and Cannon, who had a real hard time himself, manning the perimeter, it's no wonder the Patriots have held Brady out of preseason action minus a handful of snaps. Brady didn't even see the field Monday, and it's probably just as well.
Follow Nick @NickStDenis
Follow AFC East Daily @AFCEastDaily