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Sunday, December 15, 2013
Solder and Cannon active vs. Dolphins

By Field Yates

MIAMI -- New England Patriots left tackle Nate Solder, who missed Wednesday's practice and was listed as questionable to play in Week 15 due to a recently suffered concussion, is active for Sunday's game against the Miami Dolphins.

Solder, who returned to practice on a limited basis for both Thursday and Friday, conducted a pregame workout with members of the team's medical staff in the hours leading up to the game.

He played every offensive snap in the team's Week 14 win over the Browns and has been a top performer on their line since assuming the left tackle role on a permanent basis to start the 2012 season.

The team will have its starting offensive line intact this week as right tackle Marcus Cannon, who has missed two straight games due to an ankle injury, is also active. The Patriots have relied on veteran Will Svitek in his absence.

The Patriots, who can clinch their fifth straight AFC East title with a win, announced that defensive ends Jake Bequette and Michael Buchanan, linebacker Steve Beauharnais, guard Chris Barker and tight end D.J. Williams will be inactive today, joining receivers Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins, previously ruled out due to injury.

Below are the inactives for both teams:

Patriots
Guard Chris Barker
Linebacker Steve Beauharnais
Defensive end Jake Bequette
Defensive end Michael Buchanan
Wide receiver Aaron Dobson
Wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins
Tight end D.J. Williams

Dolphins
Offensive line David Arkin
Safety D.J. Campbell
Quarterback Pat Develin
Defensive tackle A.J. Francis
Defensive back Justin Rogers
Cornerback Jamar Taylor
Offensive line Danny Watkins

Analysis: Beyond the news that the Patriots will have their offensive line intact, they'll also return tight end Michael Hoomanawanui, who has missed three games due to a knee injury. The fact that D.J. Williams is inactive, leaving the Patriots with just two healthy tight ends today, could be a sign that Hoomanawanui is ready for extensive action. While the Patriots are down to just three defensive ends with both Buchanan and Bequette inactive, it's been several weeks since Buchanan has played at all on defense. The Patriots will continue to lean on Andre Carter as the top reserve behind Rob Ninkovich and Chandler Jones at the defensive end spot.