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Atlanta Falcons talk: Will Ben Garland hold up?

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The versatile guard may have to start down the stretch.

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

With reports circulating that Andy Levitre may or may not out the rest of the season, it is truly uncertain whether the Falcons will have their best guard available over the last weeks of the year. It’s a big, important question, one that’s made more urgent by the fact that Wes Schweitzer is solid but not great at right guard.

We’ll have to deal with the reality, though, if Levitre does miss multiple weeks. That raises another important question: Are the Falcons going to be able to lean on Ben Garland?

Garland is one of the team’s great men and most versatile players, having logged time at defensive tackle, center and guard for the Falcons. Last week was his first ever NFL start, and he held up remarkably well when you consider that, despite a few struggles against the Saints’ surprisingly potent defensive line. Things are much easier this week against the Buccaneers, but what happens when they travel to play the Saints, or face the very tough Panthers?

I’m inclined to think Garland can hold up for the next two weeks, but I do legitimately worry about the Panthers, who are a tough matchup even for veteran interior linemen. Considering that Sean Harlow obviously isn’t ready, it’s not like they have a choice.

I’ll turn it over to you. Can Garland hold up if Levitre isn’t available?