FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) New England Patriots offensive lineman Nate Solder was placed on season-ending injured reserve on Wednesday, three days after he left the game against the Dallas Cowboys with an arm injury.
''Nate is a big part of our team and the group in the locker room,'' receiver Julian Edelman told members of the Indianapolis media on a conference call. ''He's a guy that's a true professional. All that means is that other guys have to step up.''
Solder missed practice on Wednesday, and the team placed him on IR, according to the NFL transaction circular. The Patriots confirmed the move later Wednesday evening.
The Boston Globe was the first to report that Solder's season was over.
As the left tackle, Solder was responsible for protecting quarterback Tom Brady's blindside. Solder was hurt on Sunday after a play late in the second quarter in which Cowboys defensive tackle Tyrone Crawford went by him for one of five sacks of Brady.
Solder then left the field holding his right arm, and he was replaced in the second half by Marcus Cannon. The Patriots could also move Sebastian Vollmer from the right side to the left and use Cannon at right tackle.
The defending Super Bowl champions are 4-0 heading into Sunday's game against Indianapolis. Colts defensive lineman Kendell Langford said it did not change his team's approach.
''Well, he's their starting left tackle. So I'm pretty sure it's a significant loss for them,'' he said. ''They've got Tom Brady and they've got him (Solder) trying to protect his blind side. But again, it's next man up.''
Also Wednesday, the Patriots claimed cornerback Rashaan Melvin off waivers from the Baltimore Ravens.
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AP Sports Writer Michael Marot contributed to this story from Indianapolis.