As reported first by the SB Nation site The Falcoholic, the Falcons will be signing quarterback Danny Etling from the practice squad for Sunday afternoon’s game against the Seattle Seahawks. That means Etling is being added to the 53-man roster to back up Matt Schaub who, barring a surprise announcement from head coach Dan Quinn, will start the Falcons Week 8 game against Seattle. That means Matt Ryan’s consecutive game streak is coming to an end.
Ryan has been one of the most durable quarterbacks in the NFL since the Falcons made him the third overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft. Ryan missed two games, Weeks 13 and 14 of the 2009 season with turf toe. Since then, he's run his consecutive games started streak to 154, plus 10 postseason games.
Ryan limped off the field at the beginning of the fourth quarter with a sprained ankle last Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams. He was sacked by Aaron Donald, the last of five sacks Ryan took last week. Ryan has been sacked 19 times in seven games this season so it shouldn’t be a surprise that the injury bug caught up to him.
Despite the Falcons’ 1-6 record, Ryan has been putting together a Pro Bowl caliber season so far in 2019. He enters Week 8, second in the league to Patrick Mahomes in passing yards and his 15 touchdown passes puts him in a three-way tie with Mahomes and Russell Wilson for first in the NFL.
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For Matt Schaub, Sunday will mark his first start at quarterback since the 2015 season when he started two games for the Baltimore Ravens. Schaub completed all six of his attempts in the fourth quarter last week for 65-yards and one touchdown.
At this point in the season, there’s no reason for the Falcons to risk Ryan’s long-term health by playing him in the team’s last game before their bye week. We’re still waiting for the official announcement by the Falcons but the signing of Etling essentially seals the deal. Matt Ryan will not be playing on Sunday against the Seahawks.