Matt Hansen got suffered an injury to his knee in the latest minicamp and is looking like he could be out for training camp in 2012. Hansen initially broke the news on his Twitter account:
For all those asking, i unfortunately suffered a knee injury yesterday while working out that will require surgery tomorrow.— Matt Hansen(@MattyHans30) June 29, 2012
The linebacker from Rhode Island was looking to compete for the primary backup job at weak-side linebacker behind Sean Weatherspoon. He was used as a safety in the preseason last year and looked a bit lost out there in coverage as he hadn't played the position before.
Now that he has been moved back to his natural spot of weak-side linebacker, he is at a better spot on the depth chart and was looking like a true player. Hansen was impressing coaches at mini-camp and as Daniel Cox of AtlantaFalcons.com noted:
The linebacker position suits him and his comfort level in the defense at the position is evident as you watch him practice. Invited to May’s rookie minicamp, he put up another solid performance.
However, a knee injury that caused him to have surgery will be something that keeps him out of training camp at the very least. Hansen had surgery on it on June 29. When there is a surgery that is more than a simple arthroscope on the knee, it's something that could end up sidelining him for a season.
The Falcons have a big question ahead of them going into training camp. Do they cut a man who is showing promise as a top notch backup, or do they put him on the Physically Unable to Perform list and see if he can make it back by midseason?
Hansen has proved that he belongs in a training camp and deserves a shot. He also recently tweeted this:
I'm only 22 years old - i proved i belong in the NFL this offseason- and as I said before I WILL be back better and stronger!— Matt Hansen(@MattyHans30) June 30, 2012
And the perfect point was made. He is just 22 years old and has a whole career ahead of him. Expect the man with the 6'1", 230-pound frame and great coverage instincts to come back in 2013. Should he be able to come back in 2012, he should have the opportunity to earn a regular special teams spot on the 53-man roster.
Scott Carasik is an NFL draft and Atlanta Falcons Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also the Falcons analyst at Drafttek and also runs the NFL Draft Website ScarDraft.com and the host of Kvetching Draftniks Radio.