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Falcoholinks: All the Falcons news you need for Wednesday, Dec. 29

LIIIINKS

NFL: NOV 18 Patriots at Falcons Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

We’re 72 hours from a calendar turn. Let’s hope things aren’t as weird in 2022 as they have been for the last two years (they probably will be).

Atlanta’s COVID list grows

The entire league (and country) is enduring a deluge of COVID-19 cases. While the Falcons have had sporadic cases throughout the season, it appears that their luck in avoiding an outbreak has run out.

Four players were placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Monday, and yesterday quarterback Feleipe Franks and corner Richie Grant landed on the list, as well.

With the NFL’s newly-adopted COVID-19 safety protocols that do not require a negative test after five days, all could potentially be available for Sunday’s game against the Bills.

Draft positioning

As GM Terry Fontenot and HC Arthur Smith continue to mold their vision for the Atlanta Falcons, the 2022 NFL Draft looms extremely large. Fontenot and Smith both entered the 2021 NFL Draft with a load of bad contracts, and not much monetary room to operate.

That’s why the upcoming draft will prove critical. With their win against Detroit, Atlanta now sits at 10th in the draft order for 2022, dropping them down just one spot.

Close games and their implications

The Falcons are 7-8 on the season: Fact. The Falcons are 7-2 on the season in games decided by seven points or less: Also fact.

We’ve seen Atlanta consistently blow leads in the last few years of Dan Quinn’s tenure, so this is clearly a welcome change of pace. It speaks to shrewd decisions late, as is pretty impressive considering the woeful state of the roster.

Fantasy stud & dud

If you’re eyeing the finals in your fantasy league, we hope you had Kyle Pitts rostered.

Matt Ryan to the Steelers?

One NFL executive seems to think it’s a possibility. The Falcons would clearly relish the cap space should they find a match for a Matt Ryan trade, but they also have so many holes to fill on the roster — and thrusting a rookie quarterback into that situation would be ... sub-optimal.

Who knows what will happen, but it appears the offseason could get weird on the rumor front.