Falcons place Sam Baker on injured reserve, release Thomas Howard and activate Sean Weatherspoon

Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta Falcons left tackle Sam Baker is done for the year, as the team will officially place him on injured reserve Wednesday. Baker played in four games through the first 10 weeks of the 2013 season. He has been battling a knee injury, which most recently forced him to sit out of Atlanta's matchup with Seattle.

The Falcons also released linebacker Thomas Howard in order to activate Sean Weatherspoon. Howard signed last month with the team and was active for two games since Oct. 22.

'Spoon's return was imminent, as he is expected to participate in practice on Wednesday. He should start on Sunday after finally returning from a foot injury, which leaves a tough decision for Mike Smith to make in regards to the starting lineup at linebacker.

According to Pro Football Focus, Baker allowed one sack, seven hits and 12 hurries in 190 snaps this season. After landing a huge contract, he's regressed into his old, injured form once again.

The return of 'Spoon helps not only because of his talent, but with the leadership he brings to the huddle. He's one of the most vocal players you'll ever find. It will be interesting, though, to see how the Falcons handle Joplo Bartu and Paul Worrilow.

Injuries have plagued the Falcons season, so this shouldn't really be a surprise to anyone. How are you feeling about Baker taking an extended leave/Weatherspoon coming back?

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