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Falcoholinks: All the Falcons news you need for Thursday, Dec. 19

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Much as the morning sun, your Thursday links have arrived.

Atlanta Falcons v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Falcoholinks, much like the Ghosts of Christmas, are here to visit you in the run up to the holidays.

Jaguars on deck for Week 16

The 5-9 Falcons take on the 5-9 Jaguars this week, returning home from that wild win against San Francisco. The Falcons have played like a very different team since the bye week, knocking off two of the best squads in the NFC on the road. The Jaguars are having a similarly disappointing season, but without the high water marks of besting any top teams in their conference.

Atlanta heads into this tilt at home as better-than-touchdown favorites against Jacksonville, but with the way the Falcons season has gone, no outcome would necessarily be a surprise. But regardless of their losing record, the Jaguars have a couple of pending free agents along the defensive line that could improve the Falcons defense in 2020.

A trio of key playmakers landed on yesterday’s injury report, so we’ll monitor the status of all three as Sunday draws near.

Takk heading for surgery?

Falcons defensive end Takkarist McKinley is entering a pivotal year — the fourth year of his rookie contract, with a potential decision on his fifth year option looming. Unfortunately he will miss the final two games of the season with a shoulder injury, and according to Dan Quinn, one that may require surgery.

This is obviously a disappointment for the Falcons and McKinley personally, especially as he heads into a critical season. We’ll monitor any developments on this front very closely as we move through the final games of the year.

A closer look at contracts

Prior to analyzing the Atlanta Falcons needs in free agency and the 2020 NFL Draft, we need to take stock of the personnel under contract for the coming season.

The Falcons are actually in decent shape when it comes to the talent expected to return next year, but there are certainly some contracts that need to be reevaluated and some cuts made to make the cap situation slightly more palatable.