FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – The Falcons have placed starting left guard Andy Levitre on injured reserve, coach Dan Quinn told the media on Wednesday.
Levitre has been battling a triceps injury for the past few weeks. He was able to start Atlanta's final regular-season game against Carolina but was unable to finish the game. Ben Garland will start in place of Levitre on Saturday as he did in the three games Levitre missed.
The Falcons are back in the playoffs for the second straight season following their 22-10 win over the Panthers and locked up the No. 6 seed. Atlanta will face the third-seeded Los Angeles Rams on the road in the first round of the playoffs. Saturday's kickoff is set for 8:15 p.m. ET. For more on how the Falcons stack up against the Rams, click here.
"As a ball player, he's someone we really rely on," Quinn said. "It's his quickness off the ball that sets him apart. He can really climb and sustain on the second level."
Garland will have a tough task going up against defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who anchors the Rams' defensive line. Donald has recorded 11.5 sacks on the year and is one of the league's best at his position.
"He's not going to be on his own the whole game," Quinn said of how Garland matches up with Donald. "He plays at a number of different spots. Aaron is really having a fantastic year. What makes him unique is he has a really good get off. That's part of being a good defensive tackle. The use of his hands is excellent. He's got leverage he can use his hands and get up field. He's a factor in this game for sure."