Falcons coach Dan Quinn revealed Monday that starting quarterback Matt Ryan sprained his ankle during the team's 37-10 loss to the Los Angeles Rams.
The injury occurred early in the fourth quarter after Ryan was sacked by Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald. Ryan limped off the field with trainers and eventually headed towards the locker room before being declared out for the remainder of the action.
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Quinn said Ryan would be out for the start of practice this week as the team prepares for their Week 8 matchup with the Seattle Seahawks, but that the Falcons would monitor his progress throughout the week. As such, Atlanta will prepare for the possibility that Ryan will be ready to go while simultaneously preparing to have backup quarterback Matt Schaub start against Seattle.
"We'll be preparing both ways," Quinn said. "If he can [go], that's great. If he can't, then the bye will come at a good time for him next week. He's already in the pool running. He'll try anything he can [to get ready]. If he can't, that's the reason Matt Schaub is here, for moments like that. If he is called upon, he'll certainly be ready to do that."
Ryan was sacked five times against the Rams and hit nine times throughout the game. On the season, Ryan has been sacked 19 times and hit 53 times, the third-most quarterback hits allowed by a team. Prior to leaving Sunday's game, Ryan completed 16 of his 27 pass attempts for 159 yards with one interception. The former NFL MVP had been playing exceptionally well leading into the game against the Rams, and Ryan currently leads all quarterbacks with 202 completions, is tied for the league lead with 15 touchdown passes and is second in the league in passing yards with 2,170.
Schaub was effective upon entering the game for the Falcons, leading the offense to its only touchdown of the afternoon. The 15-year veteran was 6-of-6 for 65 yards with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Austin Hooper against the Rams. Schaub has started 92 games throughout his NFL career, and the Falcons are confident that he is capable of spot-starting in place of Ryan.
That decision has not yet been made, however, and the Falcons likely won't make that call until the end of the week. Quinn says Ryan is working hard to get back for the upcoming matchup with the Seahawks, but the team won't put him back on the field until he is fully ready to be out there.
"If he's ready to, then he would," Quinn said of Ryan playing. "We wouldn't put him out there if he couldn't do all of the things that he needs to. If he had to be out there where he was playing on one foot then that wouldn't be the right way to go, for sure. If he can show by the end of the week that he's able to do the things he does - the keepers and moving around - he's not the fastest guy but he does move around in the pocket. He's able to extend plays and get first downs, that's also part of his game. I think we'd have to know that he can do everything."