Justin Blalock remains sidelined; Harland Gunn likely to start


The Atlanta Falcons suffered three high-profile injury losses in their catastrophic loss to the Minnesota Vikings last Sunday, and the area that was hardest hit for Mike Smith’s team was the offensive line. Both Joe Hawley and Lamar Holmes have been placed on injured reserve, but in addition to that, long-time stalwart Justin Blalock has been absent from practice after leaving the Minnesota game early.

With Blalock’s continued injury concerns, the Falcons appear to be moving on with the plan to deploy Harland Gunn as the starter at left guard when the team travels to the Big Apple to take on the New York Giants.

Positively, it appears as if Blalock’s injury will not cost him any additional time, but it seems to be the consensus that he will need another week to heal, and that leaves an already battered unit even more short-handed. As of this post, the most likely scenario would be a line of Jake Matthews, Harland Gunn, Peter Konz, Jon Asamoah and Gabe Carimi (from left to right), but while that unit certainly isn’t ideal, it is still likely an upgrade on the majority of work from the 2013 season.

Definitive word on Blalock’s status likely won’t come down until later in the week, but it is time to familiarize ourselves with Harland Gunn as a starting NFL offensive lineman.