Flowery Branch — The Atlanta Falcons announced on Monday that they have placed tackle Sam Baker on injured reserve and released linebacker Thomas Howard.
Baker, 6-5, 301 pounds, was selected by the Falcons in the first round (21st overall) of the 2008 NFL Draft. He started all three games in which he appeared this season, helping the offense register a season-high 479 yards of total offense against New England in Week 4.
Baker has played in 70 career games with 61 starts in six seasons with the Falcons.
Howard, 6-3, 230 pounds, was originally selected by the Oakland Raiders in the second round (38th overall) of the 2006 NFL Draft out of the University of Texas-El Paso. He was signed by the Falcons as a free agent on October 22 and appeared in two games.
He was released to clear a roster spot for linebacker Sean Weatherspoon, who was activated from the short-term injured reserve list.