Few if any teams in the league suffered as many major injuries to key players as the Falcons in 2013 and their injury luck isn’t much better in 2014.
The Falcons took a major hit on Tuesday when center Joe Hawley (knee) and offensive tackle Lamar Holmes (foot) were placed on season-ending injured reserve. Also, starting safety William Moore (shoulder) will miss at least eight weeks after being placed on the short-term injured reserve list.
Falcons coach Mike Smith declined to provide details of those injuries.
Moore will not be eligible to practice for six weeks and can’t play until two weeks after he begins practicing, which means he will miss a minimum of seven games. He will return for the final five games at most.
The injuries to Hawley and Holmes, both starters, leave the Falcons even thinner along the offensive line. Starting left tackle Sam Baker and Mike Johnson, the projected starter at right tackle, suffered season-ending injuries during August.
Peter Konz is in line to replace Hawley at center and Gabe Carimi takes over for Holmes at right tackle. The Falcons signed two linemen for depth: street free agent Cameron Bradfield and Harland Gunn, who was elevated from the practice squad.
Moore is the veteran leader for the secondary, which had issues in coverage and run support during the first four games. The Falcons drafted him in the second round of the 2009 draft out of Missouri and he’s been a starter for them since 2010.
Moore’s injury means second-year safety Kemal Ishamel is the starter. He played just three defensive snaps as a rookie but has played 119 of 287 total defensive snaps (41 percent) in four games this season.
The Falcons also signed safety Sean Baker from the practice squad. He’s likely to take most of Ishmael’s snaps on special teams now that Ishamel is a starter.
The Falcons added two players to replace Baker and Gunn on the practice squad: safety Kimario McFadden and guard Adam Replogle. Both players were released by the Falcons during the final cuts before the season.