FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Atlanta Falcons rookie offensive tackle Jake Matthews officially moved from the right side to the left on Monday.
The switch was expected after veteran Sam Baker went down with a season-ending knee injury in Saturday's preseason game against the Houston Texans. He was placed on injured reserve Monday.
The loss of Baker thrust Matthews, the No. 6 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, into a key position on the line before his first snap in an NFL regular-season game.
"(He) has left tackle written all over him," Falcons coach Mike Smith said. "Jake is comfortable playing both right and left (tackle). He played right and left tackle in his college career. I don't think he'll blink. We're not."
Matthews played left tackle for one year at Texas A&M after being on the right side.
He said it's an adjustment to switch positions. He started all 26 games at right tackle from 2011 and 2012. In 2013, he replaced Jaguars first-rounder Luke Joeckel at left tackle and started all 13 games.
"The footwork and hands, everything just gets flipped," Matthew said. "I've been doing the right tackle thing for a while now and you kind of get accustomed to that. Now, you have to flip it all around. ... If I keep getting reps I'll be ready to go."
Lamar Holmes took over for Matthews at right tackle during Monday's practice. The Falcons' other options at tackle are Ryan Schraeder and Gabe Carimi, a former first-round pick who has already been cut by two teams. The team also signed Pat McQuistan, a ninth-year veteran offensive lineman who has played for Dallas, Miami, New Orleans and Arizona.
Coach Mike Smith didn't seemed concerned about Matthews adapting.
"I don't think he'll blink," he said. "We're not."
Matthews, the son of Pro Football Hall of Famer Bruce Matthews, held his own in the preseason game against the Texans after having two penalties in his NFL debut against Miami.
"I thought Jake did some good things," Smith said Saturday. "He had some tough battles, but I thought he did a nice job. He's going to be a good player in this league."
Baker, on his 14th snap in the exhibition game against Houston, suffered a ruptured patellar tendon in his right knee. A first-round pick in 2008, he was coming back from a torn patellar in his left knee. He has played all 16 games in just two of his six seasons in the NFL.
Training camp is over.
--The Falcons officially broke camp following Monday's practice. The team will hold regular practices Tuesday through Thursday with a walk-through on Friday in preparation for Saturday's exhibition game against the Titans.
"It will be nice to sleep in my own bed again," Matthews said.
The Falcons will play a final exhibition game next Thursday at the Jaguars before the start of the regular season.
--Sean Weatherspoon was at Falcons practice Monday - as a spectator of course.
The linebacker is out for the season after suffering a torn left Achilles tendon during the offseason.
Weatherspoon, dressed all in black including a floppy hat, watched most of practice and interacted with several players.
He was a big hit with the film crew of HBO's "Hard Knocks" series as a group shadowed Weatherspoon for nearly the entire practice and taped and recorded several conversations.
--The Falcons will play their starters at least a half during Saturday's exhibition game against the Titans.
The third game of the preseason is typically the game where the starting units see the most game action. Smith said the team will do some game planning, as it would in a regular-season game, this week. However, he indicated that the Falcons would not show their entire hand during the exhibition.
"We are going to want to take the starters through the first half of the game," Smith said. "We'll make a determination by the number of snaps (they play) whether they will come back out and play in the second half for a series. That is the way we've handled it in years past."
BATTLE OF THE WEEK: Smith said the competition for the nickel back position will come down to the final exhibition game. According to Smith, no clear-cut favorite emerged following Saturday's exhibition loss to the Texans.