FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- With the Falcons naming Desmond Ridder the starting quarterback moving forward, Arthur Smith said the Falcons "anticipate" moving Marcus Mariota to injure reserve with what the head coach is being described as a chronic knee injury.
With four games left in the Falcons regular season, 2022 injured reserve rules dictate that Mariota would miss - at minimum - the final four games if he is placed on injured reserve. The plan for the Falcons will be to ride with Ridder during that time, and likely beyond depending on how the NFC South standings play out in the final month of the regular season. Tampa Bay currently holds onto the No. 1 spot in the divisional rankings, but the Falcons are only a game behind and will play fellow NFC South rival, the Saints, on Sunday.
Arthur Smith also confirmed on Monday that the Falcons made the decision to name Ridder the starter before anything was discussed about Mariota's injury. Smith said the decision to start Ridder moving forward was a "performance-based" decision. Smith said Mariota was not at the facility on Monday.
With Feleipe Franks now a full-time tight end, the Falcons have also signed former Tennessee practice squad quarterback Logan Woodside to the active 53-man roster. This would make Woodside the backup quarterback in Atlanta. ESPN's Field Yates reported the signing on Dec. 10.