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Report: Falcons will start Desmond Ridder after bye week

Mike Florio and Chris Simms rip through keys to Week 14, including how the Lions stack up against the Vikings, if the Jets will go back to Mike White after the Bills and their confidence in Joe Burrow.

Falcons head coach Arthur Smith said after last Sunday’s loss that “everything is on the table” when asked about the possibility of making a quarterback change when the team returns from their bye in Week 15 and it appears he has decided to make a switch.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that the Falcons will turn to rookie Desmond Ridder for their game in New Orleans. Marcus Mariota has started all 13 games for the Falcons this season and the team is 5-8 in those contests.

Ridder was a third-round pick in April after leading Cincinnati to the college football playoffs during the 2021 season. He has yet to take any regular season snaps and the team will be using their extended break to make sure he’s fully prepared for his initial NFL action.

Ridder’s performance over the final four weeks will be an important factor for the Falcons to consider heading into the offseason. They are currently slotted to pick 10th overall and finding an answer at quarterback will be a primary goal if Ridder doesn’t show that he has the potential to be the long-term answer at the position.