The Atlanta Falcons have been decimated by injuries this season, ranging from the loss of Julio Jones for the rest of the season to a long-term injury to their defensive leader, Sean Weatherspoon. However, the hits keep coming for Atlanta, as they lost their starting left tackle, Sam Baker, when they placed him on injured reserve yesterday.
Now, the team has moved to fill his roster spot with another option at the tackle position.
— D. Orlando Ledbetter (@AJCFalcons) November 13, 2013
Locklear is a 32-year-old tackle who was drafted in 2004 by the Seahawks, and he has also appeared in games with both the New York Giants and Washington Redskins. The 6-foot-4, 300-pound lineman was last seen in the NFL during the 2012 season with the Giants, where he appeared in 12 games (starting 9 of them) at each of the tackle spots. However, the reason for his lack of NFL employment this season is likely tied to a devastating knee injury suffered on December 4, 2013, and his health is something to monitor once he sets foot on the field in Atlanta.
To be frank, Locklear is a “reach” for a team that is trying to fill the shoes of their highest-paid offensive lineman in Baker. At one point, Locklear was a reliable starter in the league, but there is likely a reason that he was unemployed this long, and the Falcons would likely be better served using their young guys (Lamar Holmes, for example) as a way to evaluate for 2014.