The Patriots will once again shuffle their offensive line following the decision to rule out starting left tackle Nate Solder on Saturday night.
After suffering concussions in two consecutive weeks, Solder practiced on a limited basis on Thursday and Friday, but his status for Sunday’s game against the Ravens remained in serious doubt even after he was listed as questionable on the final injury report of the week.
New England also ruled out wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins, meaning the rookie will miss his third straight game while dealing with a hip injury. Fellow rookie wideout Aaron Dobson (foot) is questionable while fellow rookie Josh Boyce was ruled out earlier in the week.
The absence of Solder means the Patriots are likely to again move Pro Bowl left guard Logan Mankins to left tackle while rookie Josh Kline will step in at left guard for the starting offensive line. Mankins replaced the injured Solder at left tackle last week in a loss to the Miami Dolphins and was regarded by the Patriots as a lineman capable of playing left tackle when they drafted him.
“Scheme-wise, it’s not all that hard. I know all the plays at every position, so that’s not tough,” Mankins said to the New England media earlier this week. “Just the overall different angles, different foot work, that kind of thing. I have to process that pretty fast.”
Mankins has started 127 of his 128 career games at left guard.