Expect starters to play in Falcons, Lions preseason matchup

falcons helmet 2020 Raheem Morris

The Falcons approached the preseason in the first year of the new regime very gingerly, resting the starters in the hopes of minimizing injuries before the regular season even started. However, after being blown out by the Eagles in the season opener, Arthur Smith has reverted to the traditional approach.

“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 are coming to fruition in the team’s preseason opener against the Lions this week. Detroit beat reporter Justin Rodgers confirmed that the two squads plan on playing their starters.

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 the Packers, Chiefs, or Bills 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.

Photographer: Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire

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