Matt Gono has some real tough luck. He has shown some serious potential for the Falcons, yet he has dealt with some poorly timed injuries or was replaced with a first-round pick before he got an extended opportunity.
Gono had an interesting chance heading into this season. The new general manager and coaching staff have no connection to Kaleb McGary and there’s a hole at left guard. Gono figured to be part of the guard competition and looked really good in a couple of spot starts for McGary last year. Anticipating he’d be at worst the team’s swing tackle, Terry Fontenot essentially made Gono the team’s highest-paid free agent at over $3.3 million.
Gono is now facing an uphill battle to finally show he can start in the NFL, or at least carve out a prominent reserve role. Per ESPN’s Michael Rothstein, Gono recently underwent surgery for an injury, though we have no details about what the injury or is or its severity just yet.
According to a source, Falcons OL Matt Gono did have a recent surgery. Source says the injury -- which is undisclosed at this point -- is not season ending.— Michael Rothstein (@mikerothstein) June 17, 2021
Still seeking out more information and will pass it along when I receive it.
Rothstein sounds confident that Gono should return in 2021. Of course, it is not clear if he may return in September or December. However, it would be a safe assumption that he will end up on injured reserve if he’s going to miss any real time, especially with the Falcons needing as much depth as they can possibly get on this offensive line. We don’t know where and how Gono was injured, so that’s something to watch, because his contract is guaranteed against injury but there may be qualifiers based on whether he was injured at a team facility or not.
What does that mean for the Falcons? This is a tough loss for the offensive line. Gono was an above-average swing tackle who could step in at either right or left tackle, and could potentially be involved in the left guard battle. Gono’s replacement is unclear but no name on the roster allays depth concerns, so we’ll have to hope this turns out to be a short term injury.