The Atlanta Falcons didn’t have positive news when they updated the status of guard Matt Hennessy on Wednesday.
The Falcons announced on August 16 that they are placing Hennessy on injured reserve.
The fourth-year interior offensive lineman hasn’t been on the practice field since July 28. That’s when he suffered an injury to his lower leg.
Head coach Arthur Smith told the media that the ailment was related to an injury Hennessy dealt with during the end of the 2022 season. Hennessy didn’t play in six of the final eight games of the season because of a knee injury.
“We’re just going to see day to day,” Smith said on July 31 when he called the fourth-year lineman day-to-day. “We’ll just treat it and see how the week goes. Sometimes guys get other opinions. We’re just going to be safe with it and see where it goes.”
Without Hennessy at practice the past two-plus weeks, rookie Matthew Bergeron has seen a lot more repetitions at left guard. Now with Hennessy on injured reserve, it would be surprising if Bergeron doesn’t start the season at left guard.
The Falcons drafted Bergeron in the second round of the 2023 NFL draft. He played offensive tackle at Syracuse, but even before Atlanta selected him, the expectation was Bergeron would move inside to guard in the NFL.
The hope, though, was that he wouldn’t have to start at guard immediately. But those expectations could now officially be changing.
Hennessy has been with the Falcons since they picked him in the third round of the 2020 NFL draft. He started two games as a rookie in 2020 and then all 17 contests in 2021. All of those starts were at center.
Last season, Hennessy started three games at left guard. He also received some snaps at guard during his rookie year.