The team shifted the rookie offensive lineman from right tackle to left during Monday's practice, according to D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. It's the move we expected after Sam Baker suffered a season-ending knee injury over the weekend.
The original plan was to ease in Matthews on the right side, but Baker's injury has jolted the timeline for May's No. 6 overall pick. With Matthews now guarding quarterback Matt Ryan's blind side, the Falcons used Lamar Holmes on the O-line's right edge Monday.
It's a relatively new position for Matthews, who played most of his Texas A&M career at right tackle before switching to the left in 2013 to replace the jettisoned Luke Joeckel.
Losing Baker was an unfortunate blow for a Falcons team that struggled to hold off defenders last season. We saw the otherwise rugged Matthews lose a few battles of his own in Saturday's preseason loss to the Texans.
Anyone watching Hard Knocks knows Atlanta has preached toughness in the trenches, but early injuries and substitutions on offense are putting that mantra to the test.