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Matt Hennessy leaves practice field with apparent injury

Injuries are the worst part of training camp, and we’ll have to hope the presumptive starting left guard is okay.

Atlanta Falcons v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

Leaving training camp with a healthy roster is so critical and so difficult to do, as we’ve already seen big names like Joe Burrow and Jalen Ramsey suffering injuries that imperil the rest of their summer and possibly beyond. The Falcons are a deeper, better team than they have been in years past, but they can ill afford any big losses.

Matt Hennessy would qualify. The man in the pole position for starting left guard and a versatile reserve with center and guard experience if he doesn’t win that, Hennessy is one of the offensive line’s essential men in 2023. Unfortunately for the Falcons, he just suffered an injury in training camp and walked “gingerly” off the field, per ESPN’s Mike Rothstein.

As our own Adnan Ikic noted, this could be a minor (but painful) ailment, but we won’t know until we get an update from the team. Any time Hennessy is unable to practice is time that rookie Matthew Bergeron will run with the starters as the left guard, a position he’s hoping to lock down in 2023 and beyond. As I mentioned above, though, Hennessy is the player the Falcons are having run with the starters in the here and now, and even if he loses that job he’s expected to be a key backup for this line. Losing him for any length of time—especially into the season—would be a big blow for Atlanta.

Hennessy was the starting center for the Falcons in 2021 and cross-trained at left guard in 2022, eventually earning a couple of starts there when Elijah Wilkinson was out. Injury reared its ugly head multiple times for him in 2022, but when on the field Hennessy was pretty good at left guard, especially as a run blocker. The experience at two positions—and the break-in-case-of-emergency potential to play right guard—is something the Falcons absolutely need.

Let’s hope we get some good injury news here sooner than later.