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Where do the Falcons stand headed into Week 16?

Fact: Grady Jarrett makes a delicious steak frites

NFL: DEC 20 Buccaneers at Falcons Photo by David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

There’s not a lot to look forward to if you’re Falcons fan right now. The future of the franchise is, in a word, “unclear.” We learned this week that the new general manager will be empowered to part ways with franchise bedrocks Matt Ryan and Julio Jones, if necessary, although cap restrictions will likely make such moves impracticable in 2021. But Arthur Blank is willing to sanction a complete rebuild if the next regime convinces him that’s a necessary step.

This all begs a question that’s hard to answer: How did we get here? To be frank, the blame can (and frankly should) be laid at the feet of several men. Thomas Dimitroff treated the defensive line like a delinquent dentist bill. Dan Quinn had his players’ hearts, but his inept game management was the functional equivalent of a bad sitcom on repeat. Blank gave second and third and fourth chances, notwithstanding all the evidence suggesting he shouldn’t. This truly was a group effort. And it’s going to take another group effort to dig our way out of this hole.

If there’s a silver lining to be had, it’s undoubtedly that the Falcons will have a high pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. If the cards fall right, they could pick as high as third. What they do with that pick remains to be seen, and it could incite quite a bit of controversy.

On the injury front, things are ... dicey. Alex Mack (concussion), James Carpenter (groin), Darqueze Dennard (quad), and Julio Jones (hamstring) are all out. Ricardo Allen (concussion) was a full participant in Friday’s practice, but he’s still listed as questionable. Evan Birchfield’s full injury report can be found here, if you’re into that kind of thing.

Your thoughts about the state of the franchise, Falcoholics?