Don’t expect many starters to play in Falcons – Jets preseason game

Falcons 53-man roster predictions

According to a Jets beat reporter, Robert Saleh will be sitting most of the starters tonight against the Falcons, which means Arthur smith will likely respond in a similar manner.

Smith has said on multiple occasions the point of the preseason is to get competitive reps, and that won’t happen if Grady Jarrett is facing the Jets’ backup guard. Atlanta gingerly approached the preseason last year, resting the starters in hopes of minimizing injuries before the regular season even started. However, after being blown out by the Eagles in the season opener last year, Arthur Smith reverted to the more traditional approach of playing starters.

“I’m going to go a little old school, and we gotta get ready to play, we gotta get ready to go from the jump,” Smith stated earlier in the offseason. “Is that the reason we lost the first two games? No, but it didn’t help. We got to play smarter; we can’t have self-inflicted wounds.”

Those sentiments rang true against the Lions, in which starters received at least one series if health permitted. Although I don’t necessarily have a problem with sitting starters, especially given the Falcons’ thin roster, I can respect Smith’s self-reflection and decisiveness to make a change. There is so much competition across the roster in Atlanta that the staff probably needs those extra reps to evaluate the personnel.

I wouldn’t sit the starters on this team because they’re not competing for a Super Bowl. The Falcons don’t want injuries, but it’s not going to derail the season — 2022 was always going to be a wash for Atlanta. We’ll see how many snaps the veterans and younger starters receive tonight.

Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire
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