The Falcons rested most of their starters in the first preseason game, and it was fair to assume that they’d do so again when they face the Miami Dolphins tomorrow night. It was apparently the right assumption.
Thanks to D. Orlando Ledbetter at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, we now know that the Falcons will save their starters (by and large) for the preseason finale. Even that seems likely to be little more than a tune-up for the regular season, meaning a handful of series before everyone gets out of dodge and prepares for the Week 1 game against the Eagles.
A.J. McCarron will draw the start at quarterback again, a clear indication that he’s lost zero ground to undrafted free agent Feleipe Franks thus far. A good night for McCarron would go a long way toward making us all feel better about having him behind Matt Ryan and could ensure the team doesn’t go looking for another option after final cuts. It’ll also be an extended audition for Josh Andrews, Jalen Mayfield and Drew Dalman at left guard, Willie Beavers for the swing tackle role, Richie Grant and Jaylinn Hawkins for prominent roles at safety and so forth.
Atlanta will have to cut down to an 80 man roster by next Tuesday, so there will be many players literally playing for jobs on Saturday night. That’s the roughest part of preseason, so here’s hoping everyone does well, stays healthy and at least puts a good performance out there in case they find themselves looking for a new team soon.
For those interested in seeing any Kyle Pitts, Calvin Ridley, A.J. Terrell or Ryan in game action, it appears you’ll need to wait one more week.