NFL notebook: Falcons lose veteran OT Baker for season
The plan in Atlanta was to play No. 6 overall pick Jake Matthews at right tackle as a rookie, with veteran Sam Baker manning the blind side for the Falcons.
That plan will have to change.
Baker was carted off the field Saturday night in Houston with a right knee injury.
He was emotional as he was helped up to his feet and clearly could not put any pressure on his leg.
It was confirmed early Sunday by NFL Network that the early diagnosis is a torn patella tendon.
Tests later confirmed the injury, and Baker will miss the entire season.
“Sam had worked extremely hard to get back on the field after missing most of last season, and he was having a good camp,” coach Mike Smith said. “I know he is disappointed, but I also know he is a very resilient football player and will do whatever he can to bounce back.”
• The Buffalo News reported Jon Bon Jovi “reached out” to Jim Kelly, the Bills Hall of Fame quarterback battling cancer, “within the past five days” to discuss teaming up to purchase the Bills. Bon Jovi's bid is in bad shape. Documents emerged last week raising red flags about the group's interest in moving the team to Toronto.
• The Panthers defense didn't get quite the test it normally would Sunday night as Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles missed the Week 2 preseason game with a bruised foot. Charles, the league's third leading rusher last season with 1,287 yards, didn't accompany the team to Charlotte. His absence was called a “precaution.”
• Raiders rookie quarterback Derek Carr suffered a concussion and bruised ribs Friday night against the Lions. Carr was blindsided by Larry Webster. Before the injury, he was 9 of 16 for 109 yards and a touchdown.
• Jaguars receiver Cecil Shorts III, battling a right hamstring injury, practiced Sunday for the first time since July 25 and could play in Friday's preseason game at Detroit. He made it through the session without any setbacks, a positive sign for a receiver who hasn't been able to stay on the field in 2014.
• 49ers safety Antoine Bethea suffered a concussion early in the second quarter of Sunday's preseason game against the Broncos. He was blocked by receiver Cody Latimer when he went down with an apparent head injury. Bethea was escorted by medical staff to the locker room.
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