Solder and Cannon active vs. Dolphins

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:


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


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.