FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Seven-year veteran left tackle Nate Solder is the New England Patriots' nominee for the NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, the league announced Thursday night. The award highlights a player's community service combined with strong play on the field.
Solder has supported local hospitals that help children and families battling cancer, which Solder and his wife, Lexi, have firsthand experience themselves. Their 2-year-old son, Hudson, is undergoing treatments for kidney cancer after previously having been in remission.
During his pregame radio interview Sunday, head coach Bill Belichick said, "Nate has a lot of maturity and discipline and physical and mental toughness to do what he does day after day, week after week. We have a lot of respect for him, Lexi, Hudson and the entire family."
Solder wore cleats honoring Hudson in Sunday's game against the Bills.
A 2011 first-round draft choice out of the Colorado, Solder is on the board of directors for Fresh Truck, which touts itself as being "on a mission to radically impact community health by getting food to people who need it most."