The Falcons are already dealing with some COVID-19 issues as the team has five individuals on the list to begin training camp, even though the team is over 90% vaccinated. The hits don’t stop there. Yesterday, we were made aware the Falcons were placing Kaleb McGary and Matt Gono on the PUP list, which is the physically unable to perform list. There is a silver lining, though, as they are included on the active PUP list, which means they can come off of it at any time.
After the first day of training camp, Arthur Smith indicated that Gono would likely be out for the entire training camp but has a chance to make it back after missing a portion of the season. McGary, on the other hand, seems to have a shorter timetable, but Smith refused to reveal that timeline.
Falcons HC Arthur Smith said to not expect Matt Gono and Deadrin Senat at camp. Kaleb McGary could be back sooner than later but didn’t want to put a timeline on it.
— Michael Rothstein (@mikerothstein) July 29, 2021
Still, the Falcons are without two of their top-three offensive tackles to begin training camp in a new scheme with new organizational tendencies. This can be especially concerning when you see who Arthur Smith trotted out to begin practice today as the starting five offensive linemen.
RT Jalen Mayfield
LG Josh Andrews
#Falcons oline: RT Jalen Mayfield, RG Chris Lindstrom, C Matt Hennessy, LG Josh Andrew’s, LT Jake Matthews.
— D. Orlando Ledbetter (@DOrlandoAJC) July 29, 2021
Mayfield’s projection and development as a guard in this league don’t bode well when he has to take snaps at tackle already. Smith’s confidence in the plan set forth to get their third-round pick ready to start at guard must be dwindling because I can assure you that it doesn’t begin with Mayfield getting snaps at tackle.
The offensive line seems as if it is in disarray already. I fully expect a veteran addition to the tackle room here in the coming weeks if Gono and McGary are to miss extended time because Matt Ryan will be on his back quite a bit if they’re forced to start Andrews at guard and Mayfield at tackle. It looks like McGary’s absence is due to conditioning or some other non-serious issue, which is some positive news.