After giving Taylor Heinicke the reins for two games heading into the bye week, the Falcons are making a change at quarterback. Ian Rapoport reported on Sunday that Atlanta would be turning back to Desmond Ridder, and Arthur Smith confirmed as much on Monday. He elaborated on reinstalling Ridder as the starter.
Falcons HC Arthur Smith on reinstalling Desmond Ridder as the starter. pic.twitter.com/W2iInH2pzL
— Michael Rothstein (@mikerothstein) November 20, 2023
Ridder sat out a few weeks and has had time to potentially reset. I don’t know how beneficial that will be, but Arthur Smith seems confident the “reset” will have a tremendous impact on his performance.
Asked @AtlantaFalcons HC Arthur Smith about the impact of the "reset" for Desmond Ridder the long-term.
— Luke Hetrick (@LHSportsTV) November 20, 2023
Ridder steadily progressed each week and even showed flashes of brilliance against the Texans and Buccaneers. However, his mistakes have been too great for the Falcons to overcome as a team. Red zone turnovers, in particular, have been detrimental to Atlanta’s offense.
Now, what a few week break will do to help mitigate those mistakes is a mystery. Ridder won’t have an easy welcome back either because the Falcons host the Saints this Sunday in as close to a must-win situation as there could be in Week 12.
The club currently sits two games under .500 with a chance to either have their playoff hopes dashed or take sole possession of first place in the division. With a victory, the Falcons will move atop the NFC South. However, with a loss, Atlanta will sit at 4-7 and on track for another disappointing 7-10 season.
There’s a lot on the line for the Falcons, and Desmond Ridder will have the distinct pleasure of facing the Saints’ defense, which is one of the best units in the league.
If you liked this article on Desmond Ridder, check out Chase and I discussing the decision to rename Ridder the starting quarterback ahead of their Week 12 clash against the Saints. Like and subscribe!
Photographer: Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire