FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) -- The matchup to watch in Thursday night's Falcons-Bengals preseason opener will be Atlanta right tackle Lamar Holmes against Cincinnati defensive end Robert Geathers.
Holmes will start after Mike Johnson dislocated his left ankle and broke his left leg in Tuesday's practice. Johnson will have surgery next week.
"It's a terrible thing that happened with Mike," Holmes said Wednesday. "Mike is a great guy and a great teammate. Mike helped me a lot.
"It's part of the game. Coaches tell you all the time, you're one play away from being a starter so you have to always prepare like you are the starter. It's something we have to do."
Johnson played in every game, including one start, in 2012. He entered training camp as the favorite to replace Tyson Clabo, who signed with Miami after being released by Atlanta.
The injury leaves Atlanta with almost no experience at the position.
Holmes played in only one game as a rookie last season after missing training camp with...