Jul 28, 2013; Flowery Branch, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons guard Mike Johnson (79), offensive guard Theo Goins (77) and guard Garrett Reynolds (75) shown on the field during training camp at the Falcons Training Complex. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Big news came in yesterday in that starting right tackle Mike Johnson left practice with a potentially season ending injury. It was the first major injury the falcons received. It is a major loss as it always will be when you lose starter. But a lot of people want to blow this out of proportion. Being the eternal optimist I am, I like to present the “don’t panic” point of view.
Let’s be honest, with 22 starters on defense and offense, there isn’t a place I would rather lose a starter. I don’t want to lose anyone at all because every player is extremely important, but it is a contact sport and injuries are going to happen. At a position where the backup is nearly as skilled as the starter, an injury is not crippling. Tyson Clabo was released because of Mike Smith’s and Thomas Dimitroff’s confidence in the young tackles. That confidence included Lamar Holmes.
Holmes was getting better and better and has been noted with freakish athleticism. While receiving more and more reps with the first team, he was on his way to being the starter by the start of the season anyway. He is still unproven, but from what was visible was that Holmes can definitely compete. He’ll have his chance now.
The Falcons also have over $7 million in proclaimed emergency money. They may dip into free agency and pick up either a starter or a backup that can seriously compete with Holmes for the job. I don’t believe the right tackle position is going to hurt very much in the long run. Not to mention Matt Ryan has a good record of dealing with pressure from the right side of the line. The offense is so explosive; I don’t believe that this injury will dampen that explosiveness.
What do you guys think?