Carimi expected to see preseason action

Atlanta Falcons offensive lineman Gabe Carimi, who suffered an ankle injury during an Aug. 4 joint practice with the Tennessee Titans, is expected to play in the final preseason game against Jacksonville Jaguars Aug. 28, according to a league source with knowledge of the situation.

Carimi missed the first two preseason games against Miami Dolphins and Houston Texans. He joined his teammates as a spectator last week for the first time since suffering the injury.

With the Falcons losing starting left tackle Sam Baker to a season-ending ruptured patellar tendon and rookie Jake Matthews set to move from right tackle to left, Carimi's value increased. The former first-round pick of the Chicago Bears entered the league in 2011 as a right tackle, although a knee injury limited him to just two games. Carimi has 19 career starts with the Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

He might be the best option at right tackle, once fully healthy. The others in the mix are Lamar Holmes and Ryan Schraeder.

"[Right tackle] is all I've played the last four years so, yeah, I feel good there," Carimi said earlier in training camp.

Carimi firmly believes he is over the knee issues that marred the start of his career. Falcons offensive line coach Mike Tice, who had Carimi in Chicago, believed a fresh start was all the player needed.

So far, Carimi has impressed with his overall toughness and ability to play right tackle and both guard spots. He has had success keeping defensive linemen at bay once he gets his hands on them. And his 6-foot-7, 316-pound frame only helps his cause.

Although the final exhibition game typically is a showcase for the bubble players, it seems wise to get Carimi some live action before the Sept. 7 season opener against the New Orleans Saints.