By Anthony Caruso III
The New England Patriots offensive line has taken a blow. Guard Shaq Mason is out indefinitely with a broken hand.
In addition, tackle Sebastian Vollmer has been placed on injured reserve with an undisclosed injury.
Mason was competing for a starting guard position. However, he’s not eligible to be placed on the reserve/PUP list.
The team will have to decide what to do with him as final cuts near. They could potentially release him but head coach Bill Belichick has been high on the 22-year-old.
Last season, he appeared in 14 games with the team.
Vollmer on the other hand may be out for the rest of the year. While the team hasn’t shared any details, he’s dealt with shoulder and knee issues in the past.
The Patriots could put Marcus Cannon in Vollmer’s spot at right tackle. Also, this is a tough blow for the team, as they struggled to protect Tom Brady in last season’s playoff run.
The 32-year-old Vollmer has been with the Patriots since 2009. In his career, he only played fewer than 10 games in a season only twice — 2011 and 2013.
In March 2013, he signed a four-year, $17 million extension. He is scheduled to make $2.25 million in a base salary, plus a $1 million roster bonus — but miss out on the $1 million in per-game roster bonuses. He’s expected to be a free agent in March.
Mason signed a four-year, $2.7 million deal in May 2015. He’s only scheduled to make $525K this season.
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