If injuries didn’t create opportunities, we wouldn’t have any idea who Wally Pipp was. It’s an unfortunate truth of sports, especially a sport like football, where injuries are commonplace.
So it might be for Jamon Brown and James Carpenter. Neither one is an unproven player—Carpenter has started 97 games and Brown has started 38—but they figured to be a in tight battle for the starting left guard spot with Chris Lindstrom all but locked in at right guard. That may still prove to be the case, but Carpenter’s unknown timetable could open the door for Brown in a significant way.
Quinn says James Carpenter will not play in this game, will see where we go next week with him. Not a long-term injury.— Jeañña (@jeannathomas) August 6, 2019
This might mean a few days, sure, but it may also mean a couple of weeks. If that’s the case, chances are good that Brown will get meaningful (as far as that goes) preseason reps at left guard and get a chance to prove himself to the coaching staff. If he’s able to do so, and if Carpenter isn’t back in action and fully healthy by Week 2 of preseason, Brown could all but sew up the job.
That’s entirely on him, and he’s got the kind of intriguing potential but mixed history of performance that makes that outcome impossible to predict with anything approaching certainty. But as you’re watching the Falcons the next couple of weeks, we’ll see if Brown capitalizes on a golden opportunity or leaves the door wide open for Carpenter, the kind of savvy veteran who won’t hesitate to take that chance away when he returns.