FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – The injury bug has hit the Falcons hard in the first two weeks … there's no doubt about it.
Andy Levitre's torn triceps injury will keep him out for the rest of the season -- that marks the third significant injury to a starter. That said, injuries are a part of the game and teams have to account for them.
And that's why having players like Wes Schweitzer on your roster is key.
After Levitre left Sunday's game with an elbow injury, Schweitzer came in and finished the game at left guard.
Schweitzer started every game at right guard for the Falcons in 2017 and lost the job to Brandon Fusco in the preseason. His versatility allows him to be able to play multiple roles for the Falcons.
During practice, Schweitzer gets reps at center, too. The more you can do the better on Dan Quinn's team.
"When Wes (Schweitzer) stepped in for Andy (Levitre) we certainly knew what to expect for a guy who had really put the time in," Quinn said. "This summer, the battle that he had in him with Brandon (Fusco) to get going, we knew if he was going to go in the game he would be ready."
After a performance in which Matt Ryan was sacked four times and the Falcons were only able to run the ball for 74 yards in Week 1 against the Eagles, Atlanta's offensive line rebounded with a stellar game against the Panthers. Ryan wasn't sacked once and the Falcons rushed for 170 yards.
The Falcons will be able to plug someone in at left guard who not only knows the scheme but more importantly has continuity with the other four starting offensive linemen.
The main difference between playing left guard and right guard is mostly the stance.
"Your targeting is the same, but you have to drill that way during the week," Quinn said. "If you're playing on the left side, have a left stance; if you're playing on the right side, have a right stance, how your body moves to make different blocks."
Schweitzer was a sixth-round pick out of San Jose State in 2016. He's worked his way from not being active for a game his first year to now when the team needs someone to step in and start at left guard, they have someone who's more than equipped to do so.