FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – Today's Early Bird Report includes a feat that Matt Ryan was the only quarterback to accomplish in 2017 as well as the return of Larry Fitzgerald in 2018.
FALCONS HEADLINES FROM AROUND THE COUNTRY
ESPN: Ryan the only QB among 32 players who played every snap last season
Matt Ryan's durability is beyond question. Throughout his 10-year career, Ryan has missed just two games due to an injury, and he's started every game for the Falcons over the past eight seasons. According to ESPN's Rob Demovsky, Ryan was the only quarterback in the NFL to play every snap in 2017.
28 of the 32 players who played every snap for their team last season were offensive linemen, including Falcons left tackle Jake Matthews. Here is what Demovsky had to say about Ryan's feat and overall durability:
"In his MVP season of 2016, Ryan threw for almost 5,000 yards with 38 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He managed barely more than 4,000 yards in 2017, and his touchdown total dropped to 20 while his interceptions jumped to 12. Still, he led the Falcons back to the playoffs and played in every game for the eighth straight season. For his career, he has played in 158 of a possible 160 regular-season games."
Here are more articles for Falcons fans:
BIGGEST NEWS FROM AROUND THE NFL
NFL.com: Larry Fitzgerald returning to Cardinals in 2018
Although Bruce Arians and Carson Palmer won't be around in Arizona next season, veteran wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald isn't yet ready to hang up his cleats. According to NFL.com's Kevin Patra, who cites a radio interview with new Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks on the Doug & Wolf Show on 98.7 FM in Arizona, the 11-time Pro Bowler will be returning in 2018.
"Larry mentioned to me last night that he's coming back for the 2018 season," Wilks said on the radio show. "He's totally committed, those are his words. We're ecstatic to have him part of the Arizona Cardinals."
The future Hall of Famer has been among the most consistently excellent wide receivers since entering the league as the third overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft. At 34 years old, Fitzgerald is coming off his third-straight 1,000-yard season, and he's missed just six games over his 14-year career.
Watching Fitzgerald play elicits nothing but joy for many fans around the country, and the NFL will certainly benefit from having the lifetime Cardinal back on the field for at least one more season.
Here are some more articles from around the league:
*Sports Illustrated: *NFL free agency 2018 guide and tracker
CBS Sports: The top linebackers in free agency
MORE FROM ATLANTAFALCONS.COM