FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Since the day they drafted Jake Matthews, the Atlanta Falcons started planning the details of his future.
They talked about the sixth overall pick in the draft becoming one of the cornerstones of the franchise.
They've treated him accordingly.
After a couple of days of OTAs, Matthews was working with the first-team offense.
Now, with a season-ending injury to Sam Baker, the Falcons appear set to move the rookie over to left tackle.
"We'd have a number of options," Falcons coach Mike Smith said. "Again, our number one goal would be to put the five best offensive linemen out there. We obviously know that he's one of the five best because he's a starter. Is he our best left tackle? Is he our best option? That's something we'll have to determine."
Matthews is clearly ahead of Lamar Holmes, who started there for much of last season. The other options are Ryan Schraeder and Gabe Carimi, a former first-round pick who has already been cut by two teams.
The plan was to play Sam Baker at left tackle and let Matthews get his feet wet in the NFL at right tackle.
But Baker, on his 14th snap of the exhibition game against Houston, suffered a ruptured patellar tendon in his right knee on Saturday. Smith announced that Baker, who was coming back from a torn patellar in his left knee, will be out for the season. Baker, a first-round pick in 2008, has played 16 games in just two of his six seasons in the NFL.
"Following his injury in the game, Sam underwent a number of tests and it was determined that he had suffered a torn patellar tendon and will miss the rest of the season," Smith said. "Sam had worked extremely hard to get back on the field after missing most of last season, and he was having a good camp."
Left guard Justin Blalock talked to Baker after the game and seem to give hope that the team would know more later in the week about Baker's status.
"It was tough," Blalock said.
In the game, the Falcons replaced Baker with Holmes, who played 43 snaps against the Texans.
Matthews, the son of Pro Football Hall of Famer Bruce Matthews, had a strong outing after having two penalties in his NFL debut against Miami.
"I thought Jake did some good things," Smith said. "He had some tough battles, but I thought he did a nice job. He's going to be a good player in this league."
During training camp, Matthews has practiced against Tennessee's Derrick Morgan, Houston's J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney and played against Miami's Cameron Wake.
Several players took their helmets off and watched on one-knee as Baker was helped and driven off the field.
"You don't want to see anybody go down, especially in the (exhibition) season," Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan said. "It's part of the deal, but it's not one of the things you like seeing as a player."
Notes: Quarterback Matt Ryan is completing 71.4 percent of his passes, connecting on 10 of 14 attempts for 90 yards with an 88.4 quarterback rating in two games. He was three for seven for 37 yards against Houston. ... Wide receiver Devin Hester scored his first touchdown in a Falcons uniform, catching a short pass from quarterback Sean Renfree and running 12 yards to the end zone. Hester has scored 33 career touchdowns, including 14 receiving. ... Wide receiver Julio Jones caught two passes for 20 yards in his first game action since suffering a foot injury in 2013. In 34 career games, Jones has caught 174 passes for 2,737 yards with 20 touchdowns. ... Linebacker Paul Worrilow led the team with a game-high eight tackles (six solo) while adding one tackle for loss and one quarterback hit despite only playing the first half. Worrilow led the Falcons with 137 total tackles as a rookie in 2013, the first undrafted rookie in franchise history to lead the team in tackles.