Joe Hawley Injury: Updates on Falcons Center's Knee and Return

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistSeptember 28, 2014

TAMPA, FL -  NOVEMBER 17:  Center Joe Hawley #61 of the Atlanta Falcons sets for play against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers November 17, 2013 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. Tampa won 41- 28. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Updates from Tuesday, Sept. 30

The Atlanta Falcons confirmed that Joe Hawley will miss the season after suffering a knee injury in Week 4:

Atlanta Falcons @AtlantaFalcons

The Falcons have placed Joe Hawley (knee) and Lamar Holmes (foot) are being placed on IR today.

Following the announcement, the Falcons made roster moves to account for Hawley's absence, via D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

D. Orlando Ledbetter @DOrlandoAJC

#Falcons sign FA OT Cameron Bradfield, last with JAX. Elevate G Harland Gunn and S Sean Baker from practice squad.

Brian McIntyre also outlined the Falcons' injury issues through the first four weeks of the season:

Brian McIntyre @brian_mcintyre

Falcons now have $18.1M in 2014 cash & $17.7M in 2014 cap dollars on IR. Both amounts are second-highest in NFL right now (behind the Rams)

Original Text

The Atlanta Falcons' embattled offensive line took another hit Sunday as center Joe Hawley left the team's contest against the Minnesota Vikings with a knee injury.    

Jay Adams, the team's digital content manager, broke the news on Twitter:

Jay Adams @JayAdamsDigital

Joe Hawley has been ruled out with a knee injury. #ATLvsMIN

Ross Tucker of NBCSN immediately followed with an interesting lineup wrinkle that involved a tight end playing tackle with the team down so many linemen:

Ross Tucker @RossTuckerNFL

TE Levine Toilolo gonna have to play RT for rest of game for ATL. Never seen this happen before.

D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and ESPN's Adam Caplan provided updates after the game:

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D. Orlando Ledbetter @DOrlandoAJC

#Falcons Joe Hawley left the locker room on crutches.

Adam Caplan @caplannfl

#Falcons C Joe Hawley (knee) has an MRI scheduled for Monday.

At the age of 25, Hawley is one of the best centers in football and a major loss for Matt Ryan and the Atlanta offense. Guard Justin Blalock and right tackle Lamar Holmes had already left Sunday's contest against the Vikings with injuries, per Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk.

Depending on the length of the injuries, the staff will continue to lean on backups such as Peter Konz and Gabe Carimi, but expect to see additions if any of the issues—especially the one suffered by Hawley that saw him leave the field on a cart—prove to be of the lengthy variety.

Atlanta faces the stout rush of the New York Giants next week in what is sure to be a major test for a patchwork front.   

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