It wasn’t on the Joe Theismann level, but it was still a pretty obvious and jarring for player and fans alike.
Vollmer missed the final eight games of the regular season and two playoff games on injured reserve.
But after months of rehab and recovery, the sixth-year tackle has been working out with his offensive line teammates this spring in Patriots OTAs. On Thursday, the third time the media has been allowed to watch the OTA work, Vollmer took reps during drills and team action at left tackle.
“Whenever you get hurt or miss some games, you’re excited to be back. You go through rehab and try to get your body right,” Vollmer said. “So it’s definitely exciting for me.”
The tall tackle isn’t quite ready to deem himself 100-percent healthy at this point, though.
“Working here with the coaches and trainers. I do what I can,” Vollmer said. “So far, so good, I guess."
Beyond getting himself physically up to speed, Vollmer is also getting to know a new positional coach. Long time offensive line coaching legend Dante Scarnecchia retired this winter and has been replaced by Dave DeGuglielmo.
The scheme and terminology remains the same, so essentially it’s just about getting used to a new guy barking at the players during practice and games. Is Vollmer used to that yet?
“There are a lot of voices yelling at me,” Vollmer joked of the new voice before getting more serious. “I like him.”
Really, Vollmer just likes being back healthy enough to do his job with his teammates.