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Falcons guard Matt Hennessy receives positive injury prognosis

The team’s starting right guard should return soon... but not necessarily to the starting lineup.

Atlanta Falcons v Buffalo Bills Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

Good news and bad news for Falcons guard Matt Hennessy after he left camp with an undisclosed injury. Entering the final year of his rookie contract, the former center selected under Thomas Dimitroff has been pushed to the guard spot under Terry Fontenot. While he’s shown some promise, Hennessy has yet to solidify himself as an impact starter in his short professional career.

His timeline to turn things around with the Falcons is pretty short. He needs a strong camp to stave off competition and earn playing time. He kicked off camp with the starters at the long-problematic left guard spot. However, only a few days into camp, Hennessy left with an injury and did not return.

While cramps are pretty common in the Georgia heat, Hennessy had an MRI, indicating something more serious than conditioning issues.

The good news for Hennessy? The MRI came back positive. While we don’t have an idea on the injury, or his timeline (days, weeks... longer), head coach Arthur Smith said Hennessy should be back “sooner than later.”

The bad news for Hennessy? Atlanta’s 2nd-round rookie Matthew Bergeron who has taken Hennessy’s spot with the starters. Hennessy was likely to get pushed out of the starting spot at some time this season. After all, teams don’t typically let their top picks ride the bench for too long. Smith certainly wants (or wanted) Bergeron to earn the spot and outperform Hennessy for the spot. Now the rookie has a great opportunity to shine and never give Hennessy a shot back in even if Hennessy misses only a limited time.

Either way, this is good news for the Falcons. Hennessy either starts or becomes the team’s top backup interior lineman. His experience should make him a qualified and competent backup but Hennessy is certainly not trying to hit free agency next year as a backup.