The Atlanta Falcons have confirmed that A.J. McCarron has torn his ACL and will miss the 2021 season. More to come below …
Backup AJ McCarron was to undergo an MRI, and going in, according to WSB-Ch. 2 Atlanta, the Atlanta Falcons are concerned that McCarron had suffered a serious knee injury.
That will put the Falcons in the market for a backup quarterback to compete with undrafted rookie free agent Feleipe Franks.
McCarron suffered a right knee injury while scrambling for seven yards to the Falcons 45-yard line on Saturday night against the Miami Dolphins. He remained in the game for another snap -- a handoff to Qadree Ollison -- but McCarron fell to the ground during the play and needed help to the sideline with a little more than 10 minutes remaining in the second quarter.
Franks replaced McCarron and played the rest of the game. Matt Ryan was not dressed.
McCarron walked slowly to the locker room after leaving the field. He did not return.
Before exiting, McCarron went 3 of 6 for 43 yards. He led the offense to a field goal on the game's opening possession, but on the second drive, McCarron and the Falcons went three-and-out.
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McCarron played four snaps on the third drive before leaving.
On his first possession, Franks drove the Falcons to the Miami 2-yard line, but the drive stalled after two incompletions. While Franks led the Falcons on two touchdown-drives in the fourth quarter, both were the result of the ground game.
Franks finished 4 of 9 for 46 yards with an interception. Additionally, he rushed for 32 yards but took four sacks, including one for a safety.
With 18 preseason passes, Franks has thrown for only 62 yards, averaging 3.4 yards per pass. He has no touchdowns, one interception and five sacks. While Franks remains confident in his own abilities, the Falcons can't be satisfied that if McCarron indeed has a serious injury, it will now only take a banged up Ryan for Franks to see serious playing time.
What did the new head coach think?
"With AJ, the operation was a little cleaner, but there were no results behind that because of the entire picture of the offense the first half." Falcons coach Arthur Smith said then. "The second half, with Feleipe, we want to be a little better operationally. What Feleipe clearly showed was that he can extend plays. So that was good to see."
A little more than halfway through the third quarter, linebacker Erroll Thompson left with an injury. Thompson appeared to grab at his head while down on the field before exiting. FalconsSI will keep you updated on the developing stories.