Dan Quinn reveals how Chris Lindstrom advocated to play in Week 14 against Panthers
ATLANTA -- The Falcons aren't going to the playoffs, but that fact seems somewhat irrelevant to first-round pick and rookie offensive guard Chris Lindstrom.
The guard made his first start Sunday against the Carolina Panthers since Week 1 when he suffered a broke foot versus the Minnesota Vikings. With him back, the Falcons offensive line turned in one of its best performances of the season. Atlanta only allowed one sack and rushed for a season-high 159 yards while averaging 5.0 yards per carry.
There was some debate among the Falcons fanbase prior to Lindstrom's return whether the organization should just simply redshirt the first-round pick and not let him return this fall because it seemed to make little sense to risk further injury in meaningless games.
But Lindstrom worked hard to return full healthy before the end of the year, and he was more than ready to play according to coach Dan Quinn.
"In practice this week, you could tell he was not going to be denied," Quinn said in his postgame press conference Sunday after beating Carolina. "In fact, I saw him on Friday and I said to him 'Hey, man. You had a good week, but why don't we wait it out until next week?' He stood up and said, 'No, no, no. I'm ready to go right now.'"
Before Sunday, the Falcons had just two other games with at least 100 rushing yards and zero contests with an average of 5.0 yards per carry this season. Furthermore, in the last two games, the Falcons had allowed a combined 15 sacks.
Lindstrom wasn't the only change upfront to fix those major problems, but the first-round pick looked very impressive in his return. The Falcons hope the experience Lindstrom gains in the final month of this year will prove invaluable for his success in 2020.