Injury report: Sam Baker could miss Lions’ game

 

Falcons lineman Sam Baker blocks Carolina's Charles Johnson, giving Matt Ryan time to pass. Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

Falcons lineman Sam Baker blocks Carolina's Charles Johnson, giving Matt Ryan time to pass. Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

FLOWERY BRANCH – Falcons starting left tackle Sam Baker missed his second day of practice with a lower back injury on Thursday.

If Baker is not ready to play against the Detroit Lions on Sunday, Will Svitek would get the start.

Baker had been playing well after a slow start to the season. He had tough matchups in the opener against Chicago’s Julius Peppers and in the second game against Philadelphia’s Trent Cole.

After the line had given up 13 sacks in the first three games, Falcons coach Mike Smith  said the staff was considering shaking up the starting line. The week before the Seattle game, Baker and Svitek were splitting time with the first-team.

ew season, bigger beard. Falcons offensive lineman Sam Baker has let his beard grow out, sporting some additional length on his chin. Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

FILE PHOTO: Falcons offensive lineman Sam Baker let his beard grow out, sporting some additional length on his chin last season. Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

When the Falcons got off to a good start and jumped out to a 27-7 lead against Seattle, the staff decided not to make any major personnel changes.

Smith has said that the offense has had to make some “schematic” changes to protect Ryan. They are throwing off of fewer five- and seven-step drops, rolling Ryan out some and leaving in running backs or tight ends to help chip block.

Svitek comes in to block as a tight end in some of the Falcons’ power formations. He was originally with Kansas City. The Falcons signed him Feb. 12, 2009.

He has played in 57 games and made six starts. He started two games for the Falcons in 2009.

Also, wide receiver Julio Jones did not practice on Thursday. The team hopes  that he can play on Sunday. They’ll have designate his chance of playing in Friday’s injury report. He hasn’t practiced since before the Green Bay game.

Cornerback Christopher Owens (concussion) didn’t practice.

John Abraham (groin), Todd McClure (knee) and Garrett Reynolds (ankle) returned to practice, but were limited. James Sanders (hamstring) practiced for the second consecutive day and was limited.

Jonathan Babineaux (knee), Tony Gonzalez (elbow) and Roddy White (knee) were full.

54 comments Add your comment

Rikus

October 20th, 2011
4:04 pm

Nooooo! We need our guys healthy for DET!

Rikus

October 20th, 2011
4:06 pm

DOL, would Svitek really come in at LT, or would Clabo move over? Does he look ready for a tough situation like this?

I want us to be careful with Julio, but at the same time this is a big game. I feel like we need him!

FalconJim

October 20th, 2011
4:08 pm

Hate to see a player get injured, but this may be a chance to see who’s better, Baker or Svitek…..I’m thinking Svitek…..Baker gets beat way too much anyway, IMO. We’ll see…

[...] James Sanders (hamstring) practiced for the second consecutive day and was limited. Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution [...]

Delbert D.

October 20th, 2011
4:21 pm

Replacing Baker with a large potato would probably work as well.

Just saying

October 20th, 2011
4:26 pm

Stand aside Sam, let some one else protect the quarterback. Sorry you’re injured, get well and come back stronger and better than ever.

Rikus

October 20th, 2011
4:26 pm

I dunno guys… if you told me that after the Philly game, I would have agreed with you. Trent Cole just dominated and embarassed Baker. He *has* been playing better since then, though… and left tackles don’t grow on trees.

Large Potato

October 20th, 2011
4:29 pm

Sorry, I am out this weekend too.

Jose Valdez

October 20th, 2011
4:34 pm

Arriba arriba

Just saying

October 20th, 2011
4:38 pm

Only if it were a sweet potato replacement!

MJM

October 20th, 2011
4:39 pm

Heck Baker has already missed most of the games this season, what one more mean.

Just saying

October 20th, 2011
4:39 pm

If left tackles grew on trees, the Falcons should have planted such a tree several years ago. Why is it other teams get great tackles and the Falcons don’t?

tidog

October 20th, 2011
4:42 pm

Too funny Delbert D. now coffee dribble is on my shirt.

Whopper Dawg

October 20th, 2011
4:44 pm

The real question is not if Baker plays or not, it is if he does not, how will you tell?

bigcrimson75

October 20th, 2011
4:45 pm

Baker has played well since the Tampa game. I like the guy. We could be doing worse @ LT. Baker is definitely leaky, butt he is not as bad as ya’ll make him out to be. I guess we will find out Sunday.

c'mon man

October 20th, 2011
4:51 pm

Are there any blocking dummies we can bring over from the practice field?

mountain_jim

October 20th, 2011
4:54 pm

I have been wanting to see if Svitek could do better since after game 1.

I think he can, myself.

It took the coaches too many games to schematically correct for Baker getting Mat abused. They should have been able to fix that by halftime of the first game. Our coaches are slow as can-be to adjust in-game.

If I can see what needs to change sitting at home on tv why the hale did they nearly get Mat out-for-the-season before they changed things? Sheesh.

Ca$h Prize$

October 20th, 2011
5:02 pm

I say put ‘Quizz over there at LT. That guy is HUGGGE, Tiny Elvis!!

Pete

October 20th, 2011
5:16 pm

Falcons definitely lead the NFL in wus’s…………..same ole wimps who look for the door to hide behind at the first sign of a bruise. They would be laughed out of the military…………..if their china-doll bodies allowed them to pass the initial physicals to even get in the military.
Pathetic.

Columbus

October 20th, 2011
5:18 pm

He cant pass block anyway. So GOOD! His backup cant be any worse. Let his lower back rest and get stronger because he definitely needs to be 100% when he is in the game or the other team will have MORE of a field day battering Ryan all game long. Thats for sure.

Matt

October 20th, 2011
5:22 pm

Who was the last player from USC worth a sh&$?

Columbus

October 20th, 2011
5:27 pm

Pete, you are pathetic. And ignorant. Or just a jerk. Their not in the military, They are in the NFL where they play injured EVERY week. BUT if your injury is going to hurt your team or place your teammates at risk, it takes unselfishness to NOT play because most guys DO want to play with all their heart and might! If you cant play at a high enough level and against the BEST competition in the world and your backup can play at a higher level than you are currently able to, what would you do Pete? You would likely play anyway and hurt your team and hang your teammates to dry by your “play at all costs attitude” Also it is STUPID to play when there is a decent chance of making the injury WORSE and missing more than one game and maybe the REST of the season. Some people have wisdom and are unselfish. You have neither it appears. Get some brains macho man.

SirReal

October 20th, 2011
5:47 pm

Probably some of the best news I’ve heard all day from a football standpoint. As always, when the whistle blows people are still people and any injury is serious if you cant play. With that out of the way (some people tend to forget that these arent Madden characters but real human beings), YESSS!!! Svitek this is your audition sir! If you can keep Ryan clean all game then we may have a chance to make a few decent plays. You have been with all these guys on the line before and all you have to do is your job. I like the move. We all know the NFL is gonna keep rolling no matter who gets hurt. Such is the nature of the business unfortunately.

Billy

October 20th, 2011
5:50 pm

DLed – Your headline makes it sound like Baker missing this week’s game is a bad thing. Coach Smith’s comments about schematic changes, namely rolling out and keeping additional blockers in to chip pass rushers is code for having to compensate for Baker’s mediocrity. After Baker was abused in the Falcons’ first two games the coaching staff had to do something to keep Matt Ryan out of the hospital. Left tackle is probably the most difficult offensive line position to play and good ones who can handle the league’s better pass rushers one on one are few and far between. Unfortunately, Baker isn’t one of them and hopefully Thomas Dimitroff is coming to that realization. In the interim, let’s hope Matt Svitek will provide a much needed change.

tt44

October 20th, 2011
5:55 pm

get well fellas….we need yall! Svtek will do great..he is toughh!

Andre Bruce

October 20th, 2011
6:13 pm

Has his shown up for any game? I don’t think Ryan will miss him. They not going to move Clabo, upset o-line.

Fan Man

October 20th, 2011
6:41 pm

Sam Baker is the worst Left Tackle in Falcon history.

You Ain't no Gaily-Whacker

October 20th, 2011
7:05 pm

Stephen

October 20th, 2011
7:57 pm

Some would say he has missed a few games already this year!

Billy Gibbons

October 20th, 2011
8:02 pm

Sam Baker …grow your beard as long as mine and you can hide the fact you are holding with the T-Rex arms.

[...] 3. Good news for the Lions: Julio Jones still hasn’t practiced this week. [...]

Jay

October 20th, 2011
8:35 pm

Baker is drifting towards bust status.

KenK

October 20th, 2011
9:08 pm

No big deal if Bust Baker does not play. Baker is one of the Worse OT in the NFL. He is only starting because he is a TD 1st round pick. No way TD is going to not have him start. That would be admitting he screwed up that pick just like he did on bad knee Bust Jerry.

Run4ever

October 20th, 2011
9:17 pm

Sam Baker out for this game is good news to the O-line and Matt Ryan. This dude is a bust. Period. Bravo.

KenK

October 20th, 2011
9:18 pm

I not sure Baker really has a bad back. This regime has cover up their mistakes. example Ray Edwards coming on. Coach Smith said a lot of good things about Edwards what he did say is on the sack against the Packers no one touch Ray it was a mess up by the OL. Ray had a sack against the Panthers. The Panthers was starting a undrafed free agent that has been real bad at protection.. This might be a way to get Baker on the bench so TD will not look bad by drafting the deadbeat…

Jordan

October 20th, 2011
9:20 pm

Isportsweb.com is planning to have a live chat during Sunday’s game, so come on by and chat it up with me and the other correspondents. Expect my usual preview post to make a link appearance in these comments tomorrow

KenK

October 20th, 2011
9:22 pm

Also look at the most overpaid player in the NFL Dunta Robinson. Coach Smith said he was a Solid player. LOL to that. Another TD screw up FA signing..

Run4ever

October 20th, 2011
9:23 pm

Sam Baker would be a lost tackle in in Detriot Dome. The question is this: how many off sides penalties would he have committed if he were to start. He now is said to have lower back problems-yea, right. I hope all that fat contract $ isn’t all guaranteed. Every team needs a dominant left tackle and Baker isn’t one of them. What did the Falcons see in him in college that we didn’t see?

CGD..

October 20th, 2011
9:34 pm

“The Falcons have victories over Philadelphia (2-4), Seattle (2-3), and Carolina (1-5). They have been beaten by Chicago (3-3), Tampa Bay (4-2) and Green Bay (6-0). There’s a pattern in there somewhere.”

Ya think? Hey Coach Clean Shot, what say you?

CGD..

October 20th, 2011
9:40 pm

Hey Dimitroff, sorry ta hear you got two #1 picks down for the count this Sunday?

Guess you really were drafting for a playoff /SB run… Ya could of fooled us Genius…lol

Matt 2.0 is gonna show Matt 1.0 how to throw the rock for real…I’m just saying…………….

Falcons Chic

October 20th, 2011
10:15 pm

But will we miss Baker? The man in my life says his two least favorite Falcons are Baker & Robinson.

CGD..

October 20th, 2011
10:20 pm

Give it another year or so and Ice Melt will be on your mans list too..lol^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Andrew Luck, Andrew Luck…

BipolarFalcon

October 20th, 2011
10:49 pm

Is Sam Baker a merman or viking? he looks like Curly the 3 stooges though.

sam

October 21st, 2011
8:11 am

the best news out of the Falcons camp all week. I hope Baker takes a long time to get back. We’ve seen what he can do, now it’s time to give Svitek a chance.

P B Orr

October 21st, 2011
8:15 am

+10 for Delbert D and the potato comment. “P-fense! P-fense!”

Michael M.

October 21st, 2011
8:51 am

When Atlanta leaves Detroit Sunday eve the Lions will have been spayed and nuetered…….is that how they spell those words they do to animals ………

North FLA Falcon

October 21st, 2011
9:50 am

Falcons score first = Falcons win

Mike is Back

October 21st, 2011
11:24 am

DLed, I agree…Baker has been playing better of late…that’s kind of stretching it a little bit.lol

Anyway, I wish him a speedy recovery…but if he is having back problems…why risk it…let’s see what some of these other guys can do.

Eric C.

October 21st, 2011
12:49 pm

This is not a good thing…Baker IS playing better and what happens to the depth if Baker is out?

willieg loves the falcons

October 21st, 2011
3:01 pm

the falcons will egt destroyed in detroit with this offensive line i told you all that SUH will destroy matt ryan so get ready ryans will be injured this weekend and the falcons season will be over so wait till next year everybody picked this team to win the super bowl this year what a joke, gave up 5or6 draft picks for julio well all for naught falcons gm DIMITROFF should have gotten suh himself i told you all he is a beast i went to vegas and bet 5000 on the lions an easy 5000 for me.