By David J Walker
The Falcons defense has been hit hard by injuries early. Losing Pro-Bowlers Deion Jones and Keanu Neal has put a hamper on the lofty top-5 expectations many had. Those injuries, however, have not yet impacted the Falcons defensive front. Yet, of any unit on this defense, this is the one that came into the season with the most question marks. Many are optimistic that this defensive line can turn into a great one, but the assurances were far from certain.
This Sunday, they will get an opportunity to prove they can be dominant when they face off against a decimated Carolina Panthers offensive line that has already lost 3 starters to injury. Starting left tackle Matt Kalil was put on IR in the preseason, while starting right tackle Daryl Williams was put there after game one. Guard Trai Turner was a surprise entry to the injury list this week with a concussion and he will not be playing Sunday.
This was an offensive line that was already struggling to replace Pro Bowl guard Andrew Norwell, who left in free agency. Matt Kalil was no one’s idea of a good left tackle to begin with, so replacing him with someone who qualified only as his backup is almost certainly a downgrade....