Sam Baker out for season with torn patellar tendon


The plan in Atlanta was to play No. 6 overall pick Jake Matthews at right tackle as a rookie, with veteran Sam Baker manning the blind side for the Falcons. That plan will have to change.

Baker was carted off the field Saturday night in Houston with a right knee injury. He was emotional as he was helped up to his feet and clearly could not put any pressure on his leg. He did not return.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported early Sunday, citing a source, that the early diagnosis is a torn patellar tendon. Tests confirmed the injury, per Rapoport, and Baker will miss the entire season. The team later announced the news as well.

Baker was just able to play four games last season because of a knee injury. He has also struggled with back problems in a career that has been up-and-down since getting taken in the first round in the same draft as Matt Ryan. Losing Baker is a big blow to an offensive line that struggled badly last season.

Matthews, who struggled with speed rushes on Saturday night while playing right tackle, could be moving across the offensive line soon.

The latest "Around the League Podcast" talks quarterback battles and debates the gang's preseason power rankings.