Before entering the NFL as a first-round draft pick in 2011, Patriots tackle Nate Solder nearly gave Broncos director of player personnel Matt Russell a concussion during Pro Day drills. Since entering the NFL, Solder has had four known concussions.
Solder missed Sunday’s win over the Ravens after suffering concussions in each of the team’s prior two games.
“My health is important, and I know the doctors have my best interest [in mind],” Solder said, via Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald. “I’m more concerned right now about Buffalo and getting prepared for them.”
Solder may be prepared for Buffalo, but he won’t be playing against Buffalo unless and until he receives clearance to do so.
As Howe points out, the third-year lineman has suffered more concussions than any other Patriots player since 2011, the first year of the current labor deal. That also was the first year of reduced practice time and intensity, something about which coach Bill Belichick recently complained.
Lost in Belichick’s belief that more hitting and more practice would result in fewer in-game injuries is the reality that more hitting and more practice will result in more concussions. Also overlooked by Belichick is the fact that his boss and the other 31 owners happily agreed to reduced practice time and intensity in order to secure an agreement by the players to take less money.