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Report: "Matter Of When, Not If" NFC Team Starts Rookie Quarterback

A general view of the Falcons stadium.

ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 18: A general view of Mercedes-Benz Stadium during the game between the Atlanta Falcons and the Dallas Cowboys on November 18, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The Atlanta Falcons held off on taking a quarterback through the first two rounds of April's draft. But when Desmond Ridder was staring them in the face, at pick No. 74, they decided to kick the tires on the third winningest QB in college football history.

Atlanta signed former No. 2 overall pick Marcus Mariota this offseason. And after varying success in Tennessee, he enters the 2022 season with an essential lock on the Falcons starting job.

However, according to one report, it seems it's only a matter of time before Ridder gets a crack behind center this season.

Per Falcon Report's Daniel Flick:

While Mariota will almost certainly begin the season as the starter, it seems like a matter of when, not if, Ridder gets to start during his rookie campaign. However, the Falcons' offensive staff, led by Smith, won't just play Ridder to play him; he'll have to prove he's deserving of the opportunity.

Going on to say that Mariota's injury history will also likely play a factor in when Ridder sees the field.

With the benefit of a late bye week (Week 14) it's possible the Falcons could utilize the extra week of prep to get Ridder ready for a divisional bout with the Saints as they look to develop him for 2023 and beyond.