Hightower out, Solder to make his 2016 debut for Patriots vs. Dolphins


Hightower out, Solder to make his 2016 debut for Patriots vs. Dolphins

FOXBORO -- Nate Solder will be back in the mix on the Patriots offensive line Sunday. 

RELATED: Pats' young interior lineman face big test | Curran's preview | Gronk to sit out | Game notes

The team's starting left tackle was not on the pre-game list of inactives, indicating he's good to go against the Dolphins and their talented front. Solder missed last week's game in Arizona with an injured hamstring, and he was limited in practice this week. 

In other news from the announcement of today's inactives for the Patriots and Dolphins, linebacker Dont'a Hightower has officially been made inactive. Dealing with a knee injury he suffered against the Cardinals last week, Hightower did not practice this week so his absence comes as no surprise. Reserve 'backers Jonathan Freeny, Shea McClellin, Barkevious Mingo and Elandon Roberts could step up and see more playing time with Hightower out. Roberts, a sixth-round rookie, was made inactive last week but he will be in uniform against the Dolphins. 

Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski will miss Sunday's game, as Tom E. Curran reported earlier today. Other inactives for the Patriots are guard Jonathan Cooper, tight end AJ Derby, tackle LaAdrian Waddle, defensive lineman Anthony Johnson and corner Eric Rowe, who was ruled out earlier this week with an ankle injury. 

The Patriots have activated undrafted rookie running back DJ Foster, who was inactive last week. He could see time as a returner or in the backfield as a pass-catching running back who could spell No. 1 sub back James White. 

For the Dolphins, defensive end Mario Williams, who was limited in practice this week with a concussion, will be available. Receiver Justin Hunter, corner Jordan Lucas, running back Isaiah Pead, running back Damien Williams, center Mike Pouncey, linebacker Donald Butler and guard Dallas Thomas are inactive.

Report: Patriots special teams ace Slater visiting Steelers

Report: Patriots special teams ace Slater visiting Steelers

Patriots seven-time Pro Bowl special teamer Matthew Slater is in Pittsburgh on Saturday making a free-agent visit to the rival Steelers, according to an ESPN's Field Yates.

Slater, who turns 33 in September, has spent the past 10 seasons in a New England. The special teams captain and one of the leaders in the locker room signed a one-year, $1.8 million contract extension in 2016.

The Patriots lost special teamer Johnson Bademosi to the Texans in free agency on Friday but signed special teamers Brandon Bolden and Brandon King just before the free agency period began.

More to come...

Brady tests his 'Brady Bunch' knowledge on NPR

Brady tests his 'Brady Bunch' knowledge on NPR

Tom Brady has been making the media rounds lately with "Good Morning America" and "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" appearances this past week to promote his "Tom vs. Time" series and TB12 Method book. On Saturday, Brady was a phone-in guest on NPR's "Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me" for their "Not My Job" segment. 

Before a mostly cheering live audience in Hartford and after a discussion of the benefits and drawbacks - mostly drawbacks - of tomatoes and strawberries, plus an assessment of the intelligence of most defensive coordinators, Brady settled in to handle three questions about the world's second-most famous Bradys, the family from the classic sitcom - "The Brady Bunch".

Click here to listen and see how he did.