D. Orlando Ledbetter of the AJC reportsthat Falcons center Todd McClure underwent a minor surgical procedure on his knee on Monday according to head coach Mike Smith. Smith did not reveal a timetable for McClure’s return, although it appears likely that he could miss a week or two which would jeopardize his potential to start in the Falcons season opener against the Chicago Bears on September 11.
McClure started this past Saturday’s contest against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but exited the game fairly early presumably due to the knee issue. Joe Hawley resumed reps with the Falcons first team in his absence, and had his share of struggles going up against 5-time Pro Bowl Steelers nose tackle Casey Hampton.
If McClure is to miss the season opener that is two weeks away, Hawley would likely be his replacement. It would mark the former 2010 fourth round picks first career start. McClure has started every game for the Falcons at center for the past 9 seasons. The last game he missed was the season finale in 2001.