Scarnecchia says Vollmer will play

INDIANAPOLIS -- Patriots offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia told WEEI.com Tuesday that starting offensive tackle Sebastian Vollmer, who has missed the last seven games with back and foot injuries, will play in Super Bowl XLVI.

"He'll play. He'll play in this game at some point, whether we have Nate [Solder] outside or him at tackle," Scarnecchia said, according to reporter Christopher Price. "He's going to be out there, and thank God we've got him."

Vollmer's presence will be a boost against the Giants' attacking defensive front, as he was a 2010 second-team Associated Press All-Pro selection. This has been a frustrating season for him health-wise, as he has played in just six games, with five starts.

Solder, the team's first-round draft choice, has filled in admirably at right tackle. Solder has also lined up as a tight end for 144 snaps, mostly in a blocking role, but sometimes going out in pass routes.

Interestingly, Solder played a season-high 23 snaps as a tight end in the 24-20 loss to the Giants on Nov. 6. That was one of the six games Vollmer played this season.

So Vollmer presence could be as a starter, or possibly as a third tackle who comes on when the Patriots want to move Solder to tight end.