Falcons lose three starters

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- The Atlanta Falcons have lost starting center Joe Hawley to a season-ending knee injury and starting right tackle Lamar Holmes to a season-ending foot injury, while starting strong safety William Moore will be placed on short-term injured reserve with a shoulder injury, coach Mike Smith said Tuesday.

Hawley injured his right knee during Sunday's 41-28 loss at Minnesota when nose tackle Linval Joseph rolled up on his leg. Hawley was carted off the field and left the stadium on crutches with a brace protecting his knee.

Initially, there was optimism about Hawley's injury not being season-ending and possibly being a less severe MCL sprain. However, further tests revealed otherwise. A league source told ESPN's Adam Caplan that Hawley suffered a torn ACL.

Hawley took to Twitter to post a message about his injury.

With Hawley out of the lineup, the Falcons have to turn to Peter Konz, the former second-round pick out of Wisconsin who lost the starting job to Hawley last season. Konz has 25 career starts.

"The only thing you do different is try to build your confidence up,'' Konz said of returning to a starting role. "If I have to be in there, I've done it before. I know I can go in there and do a great job. And I'm going to have a lot of teammates to help me. We've got a great ball club. Matt's (Ryan) better than he's ever been. We've got a lot of guys to help out, so it's not just going to be me. We've got a great O-line.''

Undrafted rookie James Stone is another option at center.

With Holmes lost, the Falcons signed tackle Cameron Bradfield, formerly of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Gabe Carimi is expected to be Holmes' immediate replacement at right tackle, unless Carimi has to fill in for injured left guard Justin Blalock, who is coming off a back injury. If Carimi stays at guard, Ryan Schraeder would be the next man up at right tackle.

Blalock's status will be clearer once the injury report is released Wednesday.

As for Moore, he will miss the next eight weeks while on short-term injured reserve and will be replaced by Kemal Ishmael.

"Ever since I came here, Will's a guy I've always looked up to," Ishmael said of Moore. "His style of play is similar to mine, and I just feed off of him. I watch what he does in practice and I just learn from him. For him to respect me like that and talk about me, that's awesome, because I'm basically under his wing.

"I'm going to do everything I can to help this team -- and help this defense -- to win."

The Falcons also promoted guard Harland Gunn and safety Sean Baker from the practice squad for depth.

The Falcons started the day with four players already on injured reserve: tackle Sam Baker (knee), offensive lineman Mike Johnson (Lisfranc), linebacker Sean Weatherspoon (Achilles) and rookie linebacker Marquis Spruill (ACL). Two other players, wide receiver Drew Davis (foot) and safety Zeke Motta (neck surgery), are on the PUP list and can't return until after the Week 6 game against Chicago (Oct. 12).

Motta is not expected to return.