Here's a recap of the third part of HBO's series "Hard Knocks."
Baker to miss 2014 season with knee injury
While some may not cry that Baker will be gone, it is a major blow for an offensive line that was looking good so far in the preseason. Baker had gotten beat twice by rookie star Jadeveon Clowney, but he was a veteran the Falcons were counting on to protect Matt Ryan's blind side as the left offensive tackle.
Baker has not been able to stay healthy in his career. The 29-year-old has played in 16 games just twice in his six-year career. He was in four games last season, the year after the Falcons had given Baker a new long-term contract.
So now what? What will the Falcons do with the all-important left tackle gone for the year? Well, the first and easiest answer would be to slide rookie Jake Matthews from right tackle to left tackle. Most believe he's destined to be there eventually anyway. Expect the Falcons to move him there this week in practice. If it's not too much on Matthews, he will probably start at left tackle next Saturday against Tennessee.
But then the Falcons will need a new right tackle. Lamar Holmes started last season at right tackle but moved over to left tackle after Baker's injury. He started 15 games last season between the two positions.
Ryan Schraeder started the final three games of last season at right tackle. There's also Gabe Cirimi, signed as a free agent over the offseason. Mike Johnson was scheduled to be the right tackle to start last season, but an injury killed his 2013 campaign.
The Falcons will undoubtedly scour the waiver wire the next few days to see any linemen that might be available. There may be a trade possibility out there as well, since the Falcons are reportedly $9 million under the salary cap for the season.
Either way, the expected line of scrimmage for this season has already been scrapped. The next few weeks will determine how the Falcons handle the latest tough loss to the left tackle position.
Listen to “The Bill Shanks Show” from 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WPLA Fox Sports 1670 AM in Macon and online at http://www.foxsports1670.com/. Follow Bill at twitter.com/BillShanks and e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FalconInsider.com Recommended Stories
Thursday night throwing fest on deck?
The Thursday night showdown between the Broncos and Chargers at Mile High Stadium (sponsorship withstanding) could see passing yardage a half mile long. Peyton Manning and Philip Rivers are at the top…Read More
Wild Sixth Inning Keys Royals' Game Two Win
In the span of three sixth-inning pitches, the Kansas City Royals broke a close game wide open and gave themselves a cushion they wouldn't lose in their 7-2 Game Two World Series win over the San…Read More
Wainstein Report Details AFAM Fallout
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- The question into whether or not University of North Carolina student-athletes were steered to paper classes as part of a larger AFAM scandal orchestrated by department…Read More
National Anthem Played with a Gun!
Musical targets? Yes, this guy plays the national anthem while shooting musical targets.Read More
Week 8: Fantasy Football Sit 'em
Every week, Fantasy Football Expert Rob Warner recommends a handful of players who should ride the pine. It may be because of a bad matchup, lost playing time, a nagging injury or an overwhelming…Read More