Falcons lose left guard Andy Levitre for season with triceps injury

The Atlanta Falcons placed starting left guard Andy Levitre on season-ending injured reserve with a triceps injury.

"After receiving the tests results on Andy's injury from Sunday's game, it has been determined that he will miss the remainder of the season with a triceps injury," Falcons coach Dan Quinn said Tuesday in a statement. "Andy worked extremely hard to get back on the field after a similar injury last year, and there is no doubt his leadership will continue to be felt this year. We have a ton of respect for Andy and what he stands for, and what he means to our team."

Levitre was placed on IR prior to last year's NFC wild-card matchup with the Los Angeles Rams after aggravating a left triceps injury. The issue resurfaced on the injury report last week prior to the Falcons' matchup with Carolina. Levitre played 13 snaps against the Panthers before exiting.

Wes Schweitzer, who started at right guard last season but lost his starting spot to veteran newcomer Brandon Fusco, now moves into the left guard role. Schweitzer also cross-trained at center in the preseason, and the Falcons are confident in his versatility.

"I think he's come a long way in the handful of years he's been with us," quarterback Matt Ryan said of Schweitzer, a 2016 sixth-round draft pick from San Jose State. "I know the experience of starting and playing last year is going to help him moving forward for sure. But we have a lot of confidence in him, too."

Schweitzer started all 16 games last season and Atlanta's two playoff games.

Depth behind Schweitzer and Fusco now comes into focus with reserve guard Ben Garland inactive the first two games due to a calf injury. The Falcons signed guard Zac Kerin, who played in 15 games over three seasons with the Minnesota Vikings and also saw time with the New York Giants and Detroit Lions.

Injuries have been an issue for the Falcons to start the season. They lost Pro Bowl strong safety Keanu Neal to a season-ending ACL tear; Neal said via Twitter on Tuesday that the surgery was a success. The Falcons also placed Pro Bowl linebacker Deion Jones on injured reserve following foot surgery, but Jones is expected back after sitting out the required nine games. He is eligible to return for the Nov. 10 game against Dallas.

Running back Devonta Freeman, who missed Sunday's game against Carolina, is expected to miss two to three weeks with a right knee contusion, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Quinn said he plans to update the status of defensive ends Takk McKinley and Derrick Shelby on Wednesday. Both are dealing with groin injuries.

As for Levitre, this could mark the end of his time with the Falcons. He is in the final year of his deal and took a pay cut. Levitre was due $4.5 million in 2018, with a base salary of $3.5 million and roster bonus of $1 million.

The Falcons face NFC South rival New Orleans on Sunday at home.