When the Falcons meet the Dolphins Thursday night, not much will be at stake. There won’t be many, if any, starters getting playing time. There won’t be more than a handful of roster spots being decided by what happens. A loss here won’t dooooooom the Falcons for the upcoming 2018 season.
Yet there’s still plenty to watch for, if you can stomach the caliber of football being played. In no specific order, here’s what you should keep an eye on.
What to watch
- The last remaining battles. At the moment, there is probably some permutation of one receiver spot, 1-2 offensive line roles, 1-2 defensive line roles, a linebacker spot, and a cornerback spot open on this roster. That means those are the positions you should actually watch in the swirling mess that’s going on Thursday night, as everything else is going to be practice squad fodder or auditions for other teams.
- What the heck is going on with the addition of Giorgio Tavecchio? We’ll want to see him kick, see how the Falcons use David Marvin (reportedly as a punter), and see if we can suss out why the Falcons signed him in the first place. If it’s as an audition in case Matt Bryant is injured later in the year, great, and hopefully he does well.
- The returner gig. We still legitimately have no idea who is going to win this thing, and clues have been few and far between. Given that the Falcons have to make a decision after this upcoming game, they’ll likely try out every candidate, and we’ll hopefully get a better sense of whether it’s Calvin Ridley, Ito Smith, Marvin Hall, Reggie Davis, Isaiah Oliver, or I guess someone we haven’t even considered yet against the Eagles.
We’ll have 53 man roster projections and specific players to watch later this week, but for now, make sure you keep these things in mind.