The Falcons officially ended their bid to make the 2019 NFL playoffs on Thursday. It's possible that two of the last four games Atlanta plays will be completely meaningless for both teams involved.
But the Falcons aren't completely giving up on the season. Head coach Dan Quinn made it clear after the loss on Thanksgiving that the team will still try to win while getting a look at the organization's young players.
One of those young players that the team still really needs to get a look at is guard and first-round pick Chris Lindstrom.
The No. 14 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft broke his foot during Week 1 against the Vikings. That landed Lindstrom on injured reserve but with the designation to return after Week 9. However, doctors have yet to clear Lindstrom for action.
With how the offensive line has played the last couple games, it certainly would have been nice to have Lindstrom as an option available to the Falcons. Despite nothing to play for in the final four weeks, Quinn still plans to utilize Lindstrom if he is ready.
“We still have one player that we are waiting to see where Chris would be,” Quinn said Friday according to the AJC. “We’ll certainly have a better understanding of that as we get into next week. All things for us are on the table, looking to see how we can play better. That’s always part of it.”
It's hard to evaluate a player in four games, but the Falcons would like to see what Lindstrom can do in order to determine how badly the organization needs to fix the offensive line. In the last two games, opposing teams have sacked Matt Ryan 15 times, so as of right now, Atlanta needs to overhaul the unit again this offseason.
It would be a tremendous help, though, if Lindstrom was the long-term solution at one of the five starting spots. However, the Falcons won't learn that unless he can play in December.