The Atlanta Falcons have not had the best offensive line this year, and with a season-ending injury to Garrett Reynolds and Todd McClure shaken up, the depth just isn't there.
It just got worse.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Joe Hawley has been suspended for four games for violating the league's substance abuse policy. According to his agent, the substance in question was Adderall, the popular ADD drug. Unfortunately, the league banned that back in 2006 and Hawley never applied for an exemption.
I don't care to speculate about what's going on here—I'm sure you all have your own theories—but the offensive line is awfully thinned out now. The Falcons are now down two interior linemen for the next four weeks and possibly a third if McClure comes up gimpy during practice this week. That means Phillipkeith Manley will be active, but it also puts the Falcons in an awfully tight spot if anyone else gets hurt.
For now, the starting lineup will remain the same, with Mike Johnson getting swing reps at both tackle and guard and Manley drawing a handful of snaps if the line needs relief. I didn't think Hawley was playing lights out as a backup, but his absence will hurt. It's mildly infuriating that it happened not because of injury but because of drug suspension, but again, we don't know all the facts yet.
Please weigh in.