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.