The Falcons have inactives look pretty similar every week, with plenty of confusing decisions that do not appear centered toward the long-term.
The biggest news that we knew earlier this week was Desmond Trufant would not play today due to a toe injury. The team’s top corner sitting this week will again expose a dangerously under-experienced secondary.
Why do so few defensive backs have experience? Kendall Sheffield is a rookie, while Isaiah Oliver is in his second year. With Robert Alford struggling heavily in 2018, it was odd to see Oliver ignored and sitting on the bench. Oliver was forced to earn his lumps as a starter in a plan that desperately lacked foresight.
Which again brings us to the inactives. The Falcons also announced OT Matt Gono, RB Qadree Ollison, DT Deadrin Senat, OL John Wetzel, CB D.J. White, and WR Olamide Zaccheaus as out against the Los Angeles Rams.
The Falcons selected Deadrin Senat early in the 2018 NFL draft over other players like Maurice Hurst. Hurst has been a mini star with the Oakland Raiders, already amassing 6 sacks early in his career. Senat showed serious promise in 2018 but has been inactive every game in 2019.
The team, all but officially out of the playoffs, is still refusing to develop their players. It is possible a new head coach and new general manager will have to make a decision on upgrading or replacing Senat based on his rookie year film. What a continued waste.
On that note, the Falcons still have five running backs on the roster and are only finally volunteering to active Brian Hill for reasons not relating to injury. Dan Quinn has yet to play them but is apparently worried they will be snatched up by other teams. Considering the team’s inefficient run game, maybe a fresh pair of legs would not be a bad idea. In mid-November and Hill may get his first touch. At least the fans and future coaches could see what Qadree Ollison has. With Devonta Freeman almost certainly gone in the offseason, do the Falcons have replacements or do they need to draft replacements?
These decisions occur well before training camp. This is not to suggest the Falcons should be looking only towards 2020, but the defensive line and running backs have been underwhelming. Yet we see the same players each week. With the Falcons, the more things change, the more things stay the same. Quinn is making a lot of the same decisions that doomed Mike Smith. Freeman barely played in 2014 then made the Pro Bowl in 2015. We only saw Ryan Schraeder put together a solid yet short career because of injuries, despite him being clearly the most effective right tackle.
The coaches should be looking for fixes and fans should be looking for reasons for optimism for the future. It looks like it is still not happening.
No surprises for the Rams who return Todd Gurley and will play Jalen Ramsey. RB Malcolm Brown, LB Clay Matthews, LB Kenny Young, LB Bryce Hager, OL Austin Corbett, OL Jamil Demby and DT Greg Gaines are out.