Sebastian Vollmer out for season

The New England Patriots on Tuesday placed starting right tackle Sebastian Vollmer on injured reserve, ending his season.

Vollmer injured his right leg in Sunday's win over the Miami Dolphins. The Boston Herald reported Vollmer needed surgery to repair a broken right leg, which was performed Monday.

Originally a 2009 second-round pick out of Houston, Vollmer has developed into one of the best right tackles in football. He signed a new deal with the team this offseason when he became a free agent, agreeing to terms on a four-year contract worth up to $27 million.

He has played and started in every game this season, although the Patriots now will have to rely on third-year player Marcus Cannon, who stepped into Vollmer's spot this past Sunday in relief duty.

"He's an athletic guy who has good feet, can move people in the running game and has the quickness to block them in protection; good playing strength," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. "He had an opportunity to play last week and stepped in, did a good job for us there in the second half against Miami. I'm sure he'll have a good attitude, good week of preparation this week against Pittsburgh and be ready to meet that challenge, too. He's been a solid guy for us, and it looks like he'll get an opportunity to play here in the near future."

Vollmer joins defensive tackle Vince Wilfork and linebacker Jerod Mayo among the high-profile players the team has had to place on injured reserve this season.

The Patriots needed to make a roster move to clear a spot for newly acquired defensive tackle Isaac Sopoaga, whom the team traded for earlier Tuesday.