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Injury bug hits Falcons again
The Atlanta Falcons got more bad news on the injury front this week and it could not have come at a worse time.
The team is already without safety Keanu Neal for the season because of a knee injury. They will be without middle linebacker Deion Jones for at least another six weeks while he's on the injured reserve list after foot surgery.
Now the club will be without starting left guard Andy Levitre, who was lost for the season because of a triceps injury and placed on injured reserve.
"After receiving the test results on Andy's injury from Sunday's game, it has been determined that he will miss the remainder of the season with a triceps injury," Falcons head coach Dan Quinn said.
The move means Wes Schweitzer, who started at right guard last season, will move into the lineup. Schweitzer took Levitre's place when he was injured on Sunday.
Schweitzer battled with Brando Fusco for the starting job at right guard, with Fusco, a free-agent signee formerly with the San Francisco 49ers, winning the position.
Quinn said he club is confident moving forward with Schweitzer as the starter.
"When Wes stepped in for Andy, we certainly knew what to expect for a guy who has really put the time in," Quinn said. "This summer the battle that he had in him with Brandon to get going, we knew if he was going to go in the game he would be ready."
Atlanta signed Zac Kerin as a counter measure. The 6-5, 310-pound Kerin was not drafted out of Toledo, spent the 2015-16 seasons with the Minnesota Vikings and played one game with the Detroit Lions in 2017.
The Falcons are awaiting word on the status of defensive end Takk McKinley (groin) and Derrick Shelby (groin). They were both injured last week against Carolina.
"We're going to give these guys as much time as they need to get ready," Quinn said. "When they can start doing things that they do, we'll adjust accordingly."
If either or both can't go, the Falcons will probably use Steven Means in their rotation. Means signed with Atlanta last week and he was inactive for the Carolina game.
"I'd be comfortable (with Means) and the reason why is during his time here, he's really put the work in," Quinn said. "We'll just take it as it goes."
SERIES HISTORY: 98th regular-season meeting. Falcons lead series, 51-46. The teams split two meetings in 2017. Atlanta has won three of the last four meetings. New Orleans' last win in Atlanta came in 2015 when they swept both games.