Falcons tackle Lamar Holmes, a native of nearby Gastonia, N.C., started at right tackle Sunday before about 10 family members.
With Sam Baker back in the lineup at left tackle after recovering from a knee injury, Holmes moved over to right tackle, his usual spot.
“We wanted to work Lamar over on the right side,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said. “It was a decision that … if Sam would have played last week, we would have done the same thing.”
Holmes, a third-round pick from Southern Mississippi in 2012, opened the season as the starting right tackle, but performed horribly in three games before he was replaced by Jeremy Trueblood against New England on Sept. 29.
The Falcons entered training camp short on experienced offensive linemen. Holmes struggled during the exhibition season, but the Falcons waited until the eve of the regular season to sign Trueblood.
Holmes played most of the St. Louis game in Week 2 at left tackle after Baker suffered a knee injury. He remained at left tackle at Miami in Week 3 and held down the position the last three games against the New York Jets, Tampa Bay and Arizona.
“We feel like Lamar is going to be a very good football player for us,” Smith said. “I thought, until it became obvious that they were going to pin their ears back and rush the passer, that the pass protection in the first three-and-a-half quarters was adequate from what I saw standing on the sidelines.”
Holmes played just seven snaps as a rookie after he was slowed by a foot injury. He inherited the right tackle position this summer when Mike Johnson suffered a season-ending injury early in training camp.
“It always feels good to come home and play,” Holmes said “I would have felt better if we’d got the ‘W.’”
He was called for an alignment penalty in the second quarter that helped to stall a drive.
“Honestly, I don’t know what the call was,” Holmes said. “They just said I wasn’t covered up.”
Penalty central: The Falcons were flagged for seven penalties for 59 yards against Carolina.
Cornerback Desmond Trufant’s pass interference on third down in the first quarter kept alive a Carolina drive that ended in a touchdown.
Garrett Reynold’s holding call early in the second quarter nullified Steven Jackson’s 2-yard touchdown run.
“We had way too many penalties, especially on third down to keep some drives going,” Smith said.
On another third down situation in the fourth quarter, the Falcons were called for having 12 men on the field.
“Those things are unacceptable,” Smith said.
Gonzalez locked up: Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez was on his way to a big day before the Panthers made some second-half adjustments.
He had five catches for 77 yards and a touchdown in the first half. The Panthers held him to one catch for four yards in the second half.
“I do know that when (injured) Roddy (White) and Julio (Jones) aren’t there, it’s a big deal,” Gonzalez said. “Teams know that, too. They are going to make adjustments and try to contain (Matt Ryan) and give him looks that take away me at times. Nothing against the other guys, they are good players. But Julio and Roddy are some of the best receivers in the league. But honestly, we have to keep going out there and making these adjustments.”
White held out: White (hamstring, ankle) was declared inactive for the game.
In addition to White, safety Kemal Ishmael, linebacker Steven Nicholas, guard Harland Gunn, tackle Ryan Schraeder, wide receiver Brian Robiskie and defensive tackle Travian Robertson were also declared inactive.
White suffered a high right ankle sprain in the exhibition season against Baltimore on Aug. 15. He played in the first five games this season, but had trouble cutting and has now missed three games.
“I’m not going to speculate with our injured players like Roddy,” Smith said. “We did work Roddy out before the game. We made a decision that we felt was in the best interest for Roddy and our football team long term.”
A first-round pick in 2005, White had played in 133 consecutive games before missing the Tampa Bay game on Oct. 20.
Etc.: Cornerback Asante Samuel left the game with a possible head injury in the second quarter, but later returned to action. … Defensive tackle Corey Peters left the game with an apparent left knee injury. Following the game, he was walking under his own power and was not wearing a brace. … Ryan broke Steve Bartkowski’s franchise record for career completions at 1,872, completing a 32-yard pass to wide receiver Harry Douglas for the record. Bartkowski completed 1,871 passes in 11 seasons with the Falcons. Ryan has now completed 1,879 passes in six NFL seasons.