Reports: Sam Baker diagnosed with torn right patellar tendon

AP

Falcons left tackle Sam Baker played four games last year before being lost for the season and it looks like he won’t get close to that many this year after hurting his right knee on Saturday night.

According to multiple reports, Baker tore his right patellar tendon during the game against the Texans. If that diagnosis is confirmed, Baker will likely miss the entire 2014 season.

That could mean that first-round pick Jake Matthews moves to the left side of the line after getting pencilled in at right tackle for his rookie season. It was where he was ticketed to end up at some point and it is the position he played at Texas A&M, so the transition shouldn’t be a terribly difficult one.

“I don’t want to speculate in terms of what we would do,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said on Saturday night, via the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “We’d have a number of options. Again, our number one goal would be to put the five best offensive linemen out there. We obviously know that he’s one of the five best because he’s a starter. Is he our best left tackle? Is he our best option? That’s something we’ll have to determine if we have to address that.”

Baker signed a six-year, $41 million deal before the 2013 season and has no more guaranteed money coming his way after this season, which may mean a change in circumstances if Matthews or someone else proves capable of handling the left tackle job.

31 responses to “Reports: Sam Baker diagnosed with torn right patellar tendon

  1. Even as a Saints fan I hate to see this. Sucks to see a guy work back from an injury and then have something even worse go down.

  2. Mike Smith’s seat will be very, very hot by the end of this season. For a guy with his defensive pedigree, the Falcons have underachieved on that side of the ball.

  3. That’s not just a bad injury — that has the capacity to be a career ender. Not many (I can think of none) have come back (successfully) from a blown patella tendon.

    Ouch.

  4. I hate all injuries. Any injuries. I don’t care if it’s a hated rival. I don’t like seeing people hurt first and foremost, and I like seeing the best v best.

    Best of luck and speedy recovery to the kid.

  5. Less than 18 months ago Baker re-signed with Atlanta for 6 years over $40 million with $18 million guaranteed. Many were saying down south ’twas as stupid as giving Dunta Robinson all that free agent money. Now the proof is there as he has played his last game for the Falcons. Plus the mega money for Paul Soliai/Tyson Jackson? Goodbye Mike Smith/Thomas Dimitroff. The fluke 2008 & 2012 seasons have done you well.

  6. willjasper says:
    Aug 17, 2014 1:12 PM
    No more guaranteed money? He’ll likely collect his full salary ($3.25 million) for 2014.

    0 0
    Report comment

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Will,

    The article said no more guaranteed money AFTER this season.

    Yes, he’ll collect his guaranteed money this season. The article never said he wouldn’t.

  7. Not looking good for Matt Ryan week 1. Then again if that Oline performs like last year the season won’t be looking good for him either.

    Jordan, Galette, and Hicks are licking their chops right now. Oh and I think Vaccaro takes Ryan’s head off this year after Blank crying about it.

    Shop at Lowe’s it’s way better than Home Depot.

  8. This is the same thing that happened to another A&M left tackle last season. Rather than losing a player to injury, though, the Jags traded the starting LT & moved Joekel over, like Matthews, to his natural position.

    Go find a vet RT to platoon a young guy with. Matthews needs to have Matt’s blind side.

  9. That is a shame.

    If the Falcons team doctor had steroids and gave them to players like the Steelers team doctor, this may have been avoided.

    Truly what a shame. (The injury & cheating)

  10. what a bust pick by Thomas Dimitroff…compounded by a horrible new contract for even bigger money.
    ATL fans are sick and tired of key players getting hurt and not performing. This player is at the top of the list (weatherspoon is not far behind). BUST, BUST, BUST good riddance. Enjoy all that money you didn’t earn. Soon, Baker Dimitroff & Mike Smith will be able to sit around together and talk about what could have been.

  11. That sucks. You never like to see any player get injured, not even a rival.

    Hoping he recovers 100%.

  12. It’s terrible to see anyone possibly lose their livelihood due to injury but in all honesty Baker has struggled with health most of his time as a pro and it’s certainly derailed a once promising career. He was an all-pro LT but when he was healthy he was solid and it reflected in the Falcons record. That being said the Falcons need to move Jake Matthews over to his natural position for the next 10 years and figure out RT from the 3-4 bodies they have to compete for it. For the Falcons future this might be an opportunity to get better in the long run as much as the circumstances suck for Sam Baker personally.

  13. Saints fan says: Big brother is coming to school those depleted Falcons. Sorry for the lost of your starter, now the beat down will be on an epic scale.

  14. No more guaranteed money but he’d be 9.2 Mil in dead money if cut in 2015. Cut him and take a 9.2 Mil hit or pay him 4.5 mil for a 7.3 hit? More likely get him to negotiate a cheaper 2015 salary.

  15. It looked to be a non contact injury. It looked like he just twisted his leg and just went down. That sucks to get an injury like that. I hope he has a great recovery.

  16. Always stinks losing a player in pre season to an injury but the Falcons weren’t going to be anything before this and still won’t be after. Don’t fire Smith, us saints fans love him as the Falcons coach

  17. He won’t be back there is no way. I had it in March and today after working very hard at physical therapy, my knee is not right. It’s a tough injury, and I feel bad for him. I know what it is like. I am not a pro athlete but it’s tough.

  18. Sucks for him and the Falcons, but at least “Hard Knocks” will have some drama to cover in this week’s episode. Not that I would watch it anyway…being the Falcons and all. Ho Hum.

  19. Falcons are top heavy with all those contracts and not enough cheap young talent with all the draft day trades — without that depth, injuries like this one may lead to the same problems the Falcons encountered last year.

  20. Saturday, September 6, Tulane vs Ga Tech in the grand opening of Yulman Stadium.

    Sunday, September 7, Saints vs Falcons in *Ga Dome.

    Full weekend of New Orleans vs Atlanta.

    Fantastic.

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