As expected, the Atlanta Falcons have added left guard Josh Andrews to the active roster from injured reserve, but in a corresponding move, they put starting right tackle Kaleb McGary on the injured/COVID list on Monday.
Andrews' return from a broken hand suffered at the tail-end of training camp was supposed to bolster Atlanta's struggling offensive line. While he's not a Pro Bowl-caliber offensive lineman, he's a veteran presence who could help ease the early load placed on rookie Jalen Mayfield.
With McGary out, Mayfield could be pressed into action at right tackle. He was drafted out of Michigan in the third round and got work at right tackle during training camp, but he was moved to guard after struggling at tackle and it seemed to be a more natural fit.
Jason Spriggs is currently listed as the backup right tackle. The fifth-year pro out of Indiana has nine career starts. He last started for the Packers in 2018, and he only started two out of 13 games that he played in.
McGary hasn't been good for the Falcons this year. Pro Football Focus has graded him 64th out of a possible 79 offensive tackles with enough snaps to qualify for their ranking.
But the options behind McGary right now are problematic for head coach Arthur Smith and quarterback Matt Ryan.
Putting Andrews at left guard for the first time this season and Mayfield at right tackle might be more risk than Smith wants to take on his line.
The veteran Spriggs might be the better option right now, but he's not a great one.
The Falcons looked to have a great chance to even their record at 3-3 going to Miami to take on the Dolphins this Sunday, and they will have Calvin Ridley and others available ... but the uncertainty on the offensive line shakes things up.
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