Months before Patriots left tackle Nate Solder celebrated his team’s win over the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX, he waged a personal battle away from the spotlight that altered his perspective on life and football.
In April 2014, Solder was diagnosed with testicular cancer, which he revealed last month. Solder, 27, learned of the cancer, which was present in one of his testicles, during a routine physical and had it removed before going on to play in all 19 regular- and post-season games for the Pats.
On Tuesday during a break from Patriots OTAs at Gillette Stadium, Solder discussed the diagnosis and treatment behind him as well as his aims for his football future.
“It’s just early detection,” Solder told the assembled media, via WEEI.com. “The sooner you detect it, the sooner you get to a doctor, the less of a problem it can be, the quicker you’re going to be healed. I think the fact that I had the physical here, the fact that I had a lot of people looking after my health is probably something that a lot of men don’t have at my age, so I think that made a difference. It changes your perspective a little bit.”
After coming back from such an experience so quickly and helping lead the Pats to their fourth Super Bowl championship, Solder now finds himself about to begin the final year of his rookie contract. He’ll make $7.4 million this season but whatever happens beyond that has yet to be determined. For his part, Solder made it clear that he would prefer to remain with the Patriots.
“I would love to stay [in Foxborough] and God will provide other than that,” Solder said. “Who knows what will happen? My approach with that too is just to do the best that I can while I’m here. You have to. There’s too many unknowns.”