The Atlanta Falcons defense has succumbed to another injury.
Reserve defensive tackle Michael Bennett suffered a broken ankle and is out “indefinitely,” according to a report from NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport.
Bennett’s injury is the second known to have taken place on the first day of the Falcons’ camp after veteran safety J.J. Wilcox was helped off the field with an apparent knee ailment.
Bennett was considered a favorite to compete for a three-technique role in the Falcons’ base defense, and his absence now leaves the team without a viable replacement.
The Falcons’ defense is hoping to avoid another injury problem this season after watching several of their starters miss much of the 2018 season with serious injury issues.
Starting strong safety Keanu Neal missed the entire year with an ACL tear suffered in Week 1, free safety Ricardo Allen dealt with an Achilles problem he suffered two weeks later, and middle linebacker Deion Jones missed 10 games with a foot injury.
A sixth round draft pick out of Ohio State three years ago, Bennett was released by the Jaguars organization on Sept. 11 after they orchestrated a pair of roster moves that included the addition of defensive end Dante Fowler.
This is not the first time Bennett has dealt with injury problems in his NFL career.
Bennett was placed on injured reserve prior to the 2016 season because of a calf injury, and he was limited to one game last season with a pectoral issue.
At Ohio State, the 6 foot 2, 288 pound Bennett had 110 tackles, 31.5 tackles for loss, 18 sacks, and seven forced fumbles over four seasons after joining OSU as a four star recruit, according to the 247Sports Composite.
Elsewhere at the defensive tackle position, the Falcons still have starter Grady Jarrett, who signed a long term contract extension right before camp, in addition to second year feature Deadrin Senat, Jack Crawford, Jacob Tuioti-Mariner, Tyeler Davison, Ra’Shede Hageman, and Justin Zimmer.