Undrafted Stone Named Starting Center

A day after placing center Peter Konz on season-ending injured reserve, undrafted rookie James Stone has been named the starting center on the latest unofficial Falcons depth chart, released Tuesday.

Konz left last week's loss to Baltimore in the first quarter with a knee injury, placing Stone, a University of Tennesse product, into an ever-changing offensive line. Stone performed well in his first extended action after seeing some time in two games previously.

The change is just another in a long line for the Falcons' front five, especially for Matt Ryan, who will be getting used to his third center this season with Konz and Joe Hawley on injured reserve.

"I thought James Stone did a great job of coming in and filling in for Peter," Ryan said Monday. "It's been one of the things that, this year, guys have had to step up and come in and play, especially on the offensive line, through some injuries."

Stone played in 45 games with 39 starts at Tennessee, including starts in each of his last 24 games. Last season, was named to the Rimington Award watch list, helping the Volunteers gain 2,261 rushing yards, the school’s highest total since 2004.

Harland Gunn will back Stone up at center, as well as at both guard positions. Newly signed tackle Jonathan Scott is listed as the third string for both tackle positions.

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