Matt Gono is clearly a player the Falcons like a great deal. The 22-year-old Wesley product made the roster as an undrafted free agent and has held on to his spot all year long despite not being active for a single game. With Ty Sambrailo hitting free agency this spring, it was fair to wonder if the team might slot him in as their swing tackle of the future.
Earlier this week, though, we got some interesting news from the plugged-in Jason Butt from The Athletic, who told us that Gono has been quietly practicing at guard for a couple of weeks now.
An interesting back-of-the-roster note to pass along. Matt Gono has been getting reps at guard the past two weeks. The rookie offensive lineman (6-4, 305 pounds) has been on the 53-man roster all year but inactive each week. Signed by Atlanta as a tackle after going undrafted.— Jason Butt (@JasonHButt) December 21, 2018
I’ll freely admit it’s a pretty big logical leap from “player gets practice reps” to “WILL PLAYER BE ACTIVE AT GUARD?!” We’ve been hoping for a Gono sighting for weeks now, and while Sambrailo is playing fairly well at right tackle, this team still is trotting out Ben Garland and Zane Beadles at right guard. Getting Gono into the mix for a handful of snaps in this one just to see how he fares certainly makes sense to me, especially if this is more than a dabbling. The Falcons simply don’t have any inspiring in-house solutions at guard next year, and if Gono is capable of being at least solid depth at guard, it’d be great to have a feel for that over these final two weeks of the season, even if it comes in the fourth quarter with Matt Schaub under center.
So this week and next week, keep an eye out for Gono and see if he makes it to the active roster. The Falcons continue to need all the young, capable linemen they can get.