Sam Baker was carted off the field in last night's preseason game against the Houston Texans, and now reports indicate his injury will cut his season short. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport says the early diagnosis for Baker is a torn patella tendon, which would force him to miss all of 2014.
If initial reports are accurate, this is a major blow for the Falcons. After finishing last season as one of the worst pass blocking teams, losing your starting left tackle for the year is one hell of a way to start a new year.
The Falcons don't have many options in this scenario. Rookie Jake Matthews appears to be the leading candidate to cover Matt Ryan's blindside, but that's quite the task to hand to a first-year player. Lamar Holmes and Ryan Schraeder could battle it out for the starting job at right tackle.
We'll hold out hope for confirmation from the team, but Baker is probably done. We might not see him suit up in a Falcons uniform again. His contract guaranteed his first two years (2013 and 2014) in base salary. He's still owed part of his signing bonus going forward, but for a player known for missing time who just suffered another serious injury, the outlook is bleak.