The 2011 season has been a struggle for Falcons' offensive lineman Sam Baker who apparently has lost his left tackle job and could be falling further out of the offensive line picture. Baker played right guard for the first time in his NFL career in Sunday's win over the Carolina Panthers but was replaced after Matt Ryan was sacked for a safety in the second quarter.
Baker was a first round draft pick of the Falcons in the 2008 NFL Draft and has struggled to improve after a promising rookie season. Injuries have played a part in Baker's struggles having had back surgery earlier this season. Will Svitek has been starting at left tackle while Joe Hawley is the starter at right guard.
Falcons coach Mike Smith chose not to elaborate on Baker or the shuffling within the offensive line:
"We made some personnel changes early in the game in the offensive line and then we switched back," Smith said. "We went into it with the mindset that we were going to do it prior to the game. Again, we are doing everything in our decision-making process to give ourselves the best opportunity to win."