The Falcons went through the kind of exhibition game you’d expect last night, full of sloppy play, the occasional brilliant play, and unfortunately some early injuries.
What we don’t know just yet is how severe any of these injuries are, but the team lost three potentially important reserves in the course of game action last night. They were, in no particular order:
- Marcus Green, hamstring
- Kurt Benkert, toe
- Ra’Shede Hageman, groin
The exit of Green game during a game where he was getting reps at returner and was likely looking to make an impact on offense but dropped one pass. Green is an intriguing player who figured to be a frontrunner for a final receiver spot and maybe one of the returner gigs, so a long-term injury could cost him that and open the door for others like Shawn Bane, Christian Blake, or Olamide Zaccheaus. We’ll hope he can return against the Dolphins.
The same is true of Kurt Benkert. Benkert saw a few drops and finished the night with 19/34 for 185 yards and a touchdown, against a 4/14 for 10 yards and an interception effort from Matt Schaub. That doesn’t mean too much but Benkert looked really sharp for the most part throwing to third-and-fourth string players, and if he can build on that he might just knock Schaub out of the job or latch on to a roster spot as the third quarterback. But that’ll depend on whether the toe issues winds up costing him multiple weeks, in which case the Falcons will have no choice but to go out and sign another QB. Let’s hope that’s not the case.
Hageman, meanwhile, is fighting for a job that will endure after his early season suspension is over. He flashed that trademark power and big first step at times on Thursday night, but defensive tackle is super crowded with useful players and an injury would put him at a distinct disadvantage. Like Green and Benkert, he really needs this to be a short-term injury, and not to sound like a broken record, but we’ll hope it is.
Updates should be forthcoming over the weekend and into early next week. Stay tuned!