ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 15: (L-R) Matt Ryan #2 and Will Svitek #74 of the Atlanta Falcons celebrate after Ryan threw a 29-yard touchdown reception to Roddy White #84 in the third quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at the Georgia Dome on December 15, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Will Svitek Injury: Atlanta Falcons Lineman To Miss 2012 Season

The Atlanta Falcons suffered a blow when the team announced that tackle Will Svitek will miss the entire 2012 season after suffering an injury in practice.

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Minus Insurance Policy, Falcons Need Sam Baker to Step Up

Murphy's law has struck the Atlanta Falcons' offensive line in the worst possible way with the team announcing that backup LT Will Svitek will miss the 2012 season with an 'upper arm injury'. At first glance it's easy to be dismissive of the injury as simply a backup getting hurt, but get inside the offensive line situation and you'll quickly see that this could be a defining moment for the Falcons' hopes this year.

That statement seems fraught with hyperbole, and a 'sky is falling' mentality, but it's the case when Atlanta are still waiting for the light to come on for Sam Baker, who has been serviceable, but not elite. Make no mistakes, Baker is still the best man for the job, and is the most complete LT the Falcons have, but Svitek was a stalwart veteran pass blocker, who could always be relied on as the proverbial 'finger in the dam' when things went awry.

Roughly a month ago the folks over at Pro Football Focus looked at three years worth of data on offensive tackles, and to this end Sam Baker was rated the 7th worst offensive tackle in the NFL in allowing pressure. In those three years he gave up 19 sacks, 18 hits, and 78 QB pressures for a total of 115. This means that on average Baker allowed a pressure once every 11.4 snaps, which for a pass heavy team like Atlanta could mean 3-4 pressures per game.

It's possible that everything will come together, but perhaps that's more hope than actuality. With Svitek out for the year the Falcons will need to find a veteran backup, which becomes their #1 priority. There might be some good options when cuts hit in just over a week, but even then it will take time to integrate a new offensive lineman into the organization, and get them up to speed. If there's a saving grace it's that the injury is happening now, and not week one– but that's not exactly something to hang your hat on.

For more on the Falcons stay with us here at SB Nation Atlanta, or visit The Falcoholic


Will Svitek Injury: Falcons Have Offensive Line Questions

Will Svitek is out for the year with what coaches are calling an upper-arm injury. Svitek was No. 2 on the depth chart at left tackle entering this season and his injury now leaves the Falcons asking questions.

Starting left tackle Sam Baker is set as the starter for the Falcons. But if something happens to him, his two backups are rookie Lamar Holmes and second-year lineman Michael Johnson, who is transitioning to play tackle.

Dave Choate of The Falcoholic has described Svitek's injury as a 'nightmare scenario' and wonders what the Falcons can do in this situation.

Svitek being out for the year is a nightmare scenario for multiple reasons. With his ability in pass protection, Svitek was the logical choice to take over at left tackle should anything happen to Sam Baker. He wasn't any great shakes in the run game, but the Falcons are transitioning toward a more pass-friendly offense anyways.

With Svitek down, the Falcons are left with some fairly unappetizing backup options. There's either Lamar Holmes, who might be a terrific tackle someday but is a fairly raw rookie right now, or Michael Johnson as he trains for tackle. They could also dive into the free agent market, which has Marcus McNeill and a few tackles you might find down at your local grocery store bagging vegetables. Even with his injury history, McNeill might be the best option out there...or he would've been, had he not retired. My bad, everyone.

The Falcons next preseason game is against the Miami Dolphins on Friday night with kickoff scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

For more on the Falcons, please be sure to check out our blog The Falcoholic and SB Nation Atlanta for all the latest news and updates.


Will Svitek Injury: Mike Smith Comments On The Loss Of His Backup O-Lineman

The Atlanta Falcons backup left tackle, Will Svitek, will be lost for the entire 2012 NFL campaign with what has been described as an upper arm injury which happened on Sunday, the Falcons last day of training camp.

Falcons head coach Mike Smith commented on the loss of Svitek in a post-practice interview transcript appearing on the team's website:

Before anybody goes any further, I want to announce yesterday in practice OL Will Svitek was injured. We found out today that Will has an injury that will take him out for the season. It's bad news for Will. He will miss the entire season. It was an upper arm injury.

Smith also commented on how valuable Svitek has been to the Falcons and how much his loss will impact the team:

Will had been a guy that had played both, left and right, and did some other things for us.

Will is a real tough guy. One of the toughest guys I know. Played through a lot of injuries and did a nice job when he was called on when Sam was injured last year and played left tackle for us. He's a real tough guy, and we'll miss him. I know he'll get his recovery started as quick as possible and will be ready to go after the season.

Svitek was in the final year of his contract that was set to pay him $1.75 million dollars this season.

For more on the Atlanta Falcons, head over to The Falcoholic, and be sure to visit SBNation's dedicated NFL hub.


Will Svitek Injury Update: Atlanta Falcons Lineman To Miss 2012 Season

Atlanta Falcons offensive lineman Will Svitek suffered an injury in Sunday's practice, and will be out for the duration of the 2012 season.

Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith announced the unfortunate news himself during his Monday press conference.

Svitek was listed second on the Falcons' depth chart at left tackle, headed into Atlanta's Week 2 preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Svitek was originally drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2005 NFL Draft. Svitek was waived by the Chiefs prior to the 2008 season, and then signed with the Falcons on February 12, 2009, and has spent each of the past three seasons with the Falcons.

For the latest on the Atlanta Falcons, head over to The Falcoholic and join the discussion.

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