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Falcons place C/G Matt Hennessy on injured reserve

Hennessy was slotted in as the team’s primary backup guard/center for this season, so this is a blow to the team’s depth.

Atlanta Falcons vs Detroit Lions Photo by Amy Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Atlanta Falcons placed Matt Hennessy on injured reserve on Wednesday, effectively ending his 2023 season before it even began.

Hennessy started training camp as the favorite to win the team’s starting left guard role, and began camp practicing with the first team in that position. He walked off the field after suffering an early injury during walkthroughs on Day 3 of camp, with what head coach Arthur Smith said was an “aggravation” to a previous injury.

Hennessy played in 11 games in 2022, missing the other six with a knee injury he suffered in Week 9 which landed him on injured reserve with a designation to return. It seems that he aggravated that same knee in the early days of camp.

Hennessy had played both center and guard for the Falcons, making him one of the team’s more versatile options on the interior. It’s a blow to Atlanta’s offensive line depth.

In Hennessy’s place, second round rookie Matthew Bergeron is now poised to take over the starting left guard job, as he has been working with the starters in that spot since the injury occured. Ryan Neuzil, Jonotthan Harrison, Jovaughn Gwyn, Kyle Hinton, Justin Schaffer and Michal Menet are the other interior offensive lineman working in backup roles on Atlanta’s roster, with Neuzil looking like a strong bet for a roster spot right now after taking first and second team reps at center with Drew Dalman out.

This is just speculation on my part, but the team may now consider adding a veteran option to help with the depth of the interior offensive line. The Falcons currently have $11.8 million in cap space, following the release of LB Mykal Walker earlier this week.

We wish Hennessy well on his recovery, and we’ll see if the Falcons add anyone else.