In his sixth season with the Patriots, Matthew Slater is a team captain, widely respected throughout the organization. On the day of the Marathon bombings, Patriots players had gathered at Gillette Stadium for offseason workouts, and coach Bill Belichick asked Slater to address the team and offer a prayer.
When he was significantly injured for the first time in his career earlier this season — missing four games to a broken thumb — Slater became one of the few players during Belichick’s tenure allowed to travel with the team even though he wasn’t able to play.
He was also recently named to his third Pro Bowl, selected as one of the two best special teams players in the NFL.
Above all, Slater is a man of faith. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.