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Falcons v. Saints: Desmond Ridder to start with Taylor Heinicke out; Drew Dalman, Zach Harrison also out


Atlanta Falcons v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Mike Christy/Getty Images

The Falcons are hurting a bit ahead of the biggest game of Arthur Smith’s career. With multiple reports that Smith wins and he’s back, the health of his team is particularly important.

The bad news? The Falcons are beat up.

The Falcons are missing multiple starters and recent contributors. The biggest (?) may be Taylor Heinicke, who finishes out the season as the team’s emergency quarterback. While Desmond Ridder and Heinicke may simply be different flavors of the same food, Smith is still stuck starting Ridder whether that’s what he wanted to do or not.

There are multiple other notable inactives, including the team’s starting center Drew Dalman. He may struggle to snap the ball from time to time, but he is an integral part in Atlanta’s rushing game. Also notable is recently surging Zach Harrison who suffered an injury last week. The good news is he didn’t get stuck on injured reserve, but the bad news is the Falcons miss a player on its weak defensive line. DeMarcco Hellams had been making some splash plays in recent weeks, but thanks to injury, creates a bit more inconsistency in Atlanta’s secondary.

Those are big hits to both sides of the ball.

Below are the team’s official inactives:

  • C Drew Dalman
  • DL Zach Harrison
  • S DeMarcco Hellams
  • CB Natrone Brooks
  • DL Tommy Togiai
  • QB Taylor Heinicke

For the Saints, in my professional analysis, all these players are trash and so are the Saints. For further analysis, the Saints deserve nothing but the worst. Luckily, Derek Carr signed a three-year, $121 million deal with New Orleans, so very bad things are indeed happening to the Saints.

  • QB Jake Haener
  • S Lonnie Johnson Jr.
  • RB Alvin “Rock Em, Sock Em” Kamara
  • WR Keith Kirkwood
  • DE Kyle Phillips
  • LB Monty Rice
  • OT Landon Young