Thankfully, the Falcons haven’t had to deal with any major injuries before the start of the season (knock on wood). Matt Gono has yet to suit up but did show up to practice on Monday without the neck brace that he did have on when he initially reported to Flowery Branch. But Gono wasn’t expected to contribute in a starting role, outside of competing at left guard. Kaleb McGary missed some time with an apparent knee injury, but he played well in limited snaps against the Dolphins.
A.J. McCarron is done for the season, but if Matt Ryan went down with a season-ending injury, the Falcons would be playing for pride at that point. Jaeden Graham was the fourth tight end on the roster, and that position, as well as any, can handle that kind of loss. But that begs the question, which position groups on the Falcons can least afford to be hit by injuries?
As I stated before, if Matt Ryan goes down for a significant amount of time, Falcons players will be playing for next year’s job because this roster is a five-win group without a borderline top ten quarterback.
This shouldn’t really need to be said, but the offensive line depth is thin with the loss of Matt Gono. Jason Spriggs is a decent swing tackle that can fill in for a game or two but would be a liability if it were a long-term situation. The interior offensive line is in an even worse position. As of right now, the line still needs a left guard. If Jalen Mayfield and Josh Andrews were to play simultaneously in a scenario where Chris Lindstrom misses time, Matt Ryan better hope Arthur Smith can scheme around those two. If Matt Hennessy goes down, we are looking at an unproven rookie stepping in. All in all, the offensive line is lacking talent and cannot afford any injuries.
The jury is still out on Fabian Moreau, but he will certainly be the starter opposite A.J. Terrell against the Eagles. Isaiah Oliver has found new life in the slot, but if injuries were to force him to kick outside… I wouldn’t feel confident in the group. Darren Hall and Chris Williamson are solid depth pieces at this point in their respective careers but are in no way ready to defend the likes of Antonio Brown, Chris Godwin, and Mike Evans in Week 2.
Even with the emergence of Ade Ogundeji, the position is in need of bolstering. Dante Fowler is still the best pure pass rusher on the team. If he were to go down, the depth is concerning. Steven Means, Jacob Tuioti-Mariner, Brandon Copeland, and Ogundeji are back ups on most NFL rosters. A starting rotation of depth pieces isn’t conducive to a consistent pass rush.
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