Kaleb McGary’s most recent cardiac ablation procedure evidently went well, which is great news for the rookie and likely a major relief to his friends, family, and the team. The obvious question from the Falcons’ perspective is when their first round pick is going to be ready to play, but Dan Quinn is wisely not going to rush it.
“The first part is, like today, participating in the walkthrough,” Quinn said. “And then he’ll get a good bit of the field work with Marty [Lauzon] and the athletic performance staff. And then once that’s good, we’ll be out a couple of weeks, make sure the conditioning is right. And then back into individual [drills], and then you get back into team [drills]. So we really stay strict to the policy we put into place for the guys to return to it. We just don’t back off of it, especially if you’ve been out for, in his case, two weeks.”
The most important quote here has to do with the “we’ll be out a couple of weeks,” followed by Quinn’s assertion that they’ll get him in individual drills and then team drills. Two weeks from now would put us at the Monday after the final preseason game, before the season starts. For McGary to be ready for Week 1, he’d have to progress extremely quickly from there, given that the team’s first regular season game against the Vikings is on September 8, or six days away from that milestone.
What that suggests is that McGary is not going to be at right tackle for Week 1, meaning Ty Sambrailo is likely to be thrown right into the fire against a tough Vikings defense. His chances of being ready for Week 2 against the Eagles should also be considered iffy, and then after that I’d be willing to say we could see McGary at any time. Depending on whether Sambrailo thrives or falters in his chances, they could choose to slow play his return a bit or ramp him up to start immediately.
Either way, chances are good we won’t know exactly when McGary will return until September. We’ll hope it’s sooner than later, and we’ll hope that Sambrailo’s preseason hiccups aren’t a sign of where he’ll be if he has to man right tackle in the regular season.