Falcons OT Will Svitek out for the season

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The Falcons offensive line has been better than advertised this preseason, but they took a hit this afternoon they can ill afford.

According to D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal Constitution, backup tackle Will Svitek is out for the year with an upper arm injury.

While Svitek was backing up Sam Baker at left tackle now, he replaced him for 10 starts last year when Baker was ineffective.

The Falcons have been impressed with their pass proteciton thus far, as quarterback Matt Ryan hasn’t been sacked in the preseason yet. The only four sacks the Falcons have allowed were with the backups on the field.

“I think two games into [the exhibition season] I haven’t been hit yet,” Ryan said. “I keep telling them ‘Keep that up and it’s going to be fun year.’”

It wasn’t fun last year, as Ryan was sacked 26 times but hit a ridiculous 84 times. Svitek was part of that, but was a solid veteran backup, and a good insurance policy in case Baker continued his 2011 struggles.