If there’s early reason to be concerned about the Falcons offensive line, it’s the “next man up” modus operandi that they’ve been forced into as a result of early injury. First-round draft pick Kaleb McGary is on the mend from a cardiac ablation procedure, one which he is beginning his return from but will still keep him out of the mix for multiple weeks. Newly re-signed tackle Ty Sambrailo was largely ineffective in Thursday’s preseason game against the Jets, and will now miss time due to a shoulder injury.
So who’s the next man up to protect Matt Ryan on the right? That would be undrafted tackle Matt Gono, who is currently running with the first-team offense and was the recipient of recent praise by head coach Dan Quinn.
Dan Quinn said he "couldn't be more pleased" with Matt Gono's development thus far. Worked with first team at right tackle with Kaleb McGary (cardiac ablation) and Ty Sambrailo (shoulder) missing practice yesterday.— Jason Butt (@JasonHButt) August 19, 2019
Gono, the second-year player out of Wesley College, is entering year two with the Atlanta Falcons, but has yet to find himself in a regular season game. If he continues to impress in practice and the preseason, that will certainly change—especially with the potential timelines to return from injury for both Kaleb McGary and Ty Sambrailo.
Matt Gono received 46 snaps in Thursday night’s game, so he’s been seeing a hefty workload to this point already. We fully expect him to start at right tackle in Week 3’s preseason game against Washington, and hopefully his performance will ease some of the early anxieties about the stability and performance of the offensive line.