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Falcons confirm right guard battle will go down to the wire

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Ben Garland or Wes Schweitzer? Even the Falcons don’t know just yet.

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Ideally, perhaps, one of the duo of Ben Garland and Wes Schweitzer would have sat up in bed one morning, been possessed by the ghost of Bill Fralic, and gone out there and won the right guard job. That would allow the Falcons to rest one of them a little more throughout preseason, and be secure in the knowledge that a hotly contested position was actually a settled one.

Because we don’t live in a world where Bill Fralic possesses people, however, we’re left with the most intriguing battle on the roster. Thus far, Garland and Schweitzer have each drawn a start, and both have performed pretty well to this point. To outside eyes, that makes this battle too close to call. Inside Flowery Branch, the sentiment is more or less the same.

On one hand, I appreciate that both players are getting a fair shake from the Falcons. I do think a prolonged competition will bring out the best in one or both of them, and that the eventual starter will be better for that competition. On the other hand, we don’t know how good either one will be in regular season action just yet—I have my concerns, though I hope to be wrong as usual—and the uncertainty breeds uncertainty about the position. With rookie Sean Harlow a year away from legitimately contending for a starting job, the winner here should be able to take the job and run with it, but at least Atlanta will have a (preseason) battle-tested backup for that choice.

We likely won’t know who’s won this thing until the regular season is nearly upon us. Let’s hope the Cardinals game this Saturday helps to clarify things, though.