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Thomas Dimitroff says Falcons will have 'battle' at backup quarterback 

INDIANAPOLIS – Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff doesn't have to spend the next three months wondering who his starting quarterback will be next season like some general managers will be doing.

Matt Ryan will be Atlanta's starting quarterback for the foreseeable future as he signed a five-year contract worth $150 million in 2018.


The question at the quarterback spot for the Falcons is who will serve as Ryan's backup in the upcoming season.

Veteran quarterback Matt Schaub is reportedly returning to Atlanta but the Falcons also have two young quarterbacks on their roster in Kurt Benkert and Danny Etling.

While Schaub remains the favorite to win the No. 2 quarterback spot, Benkert and Etling showed promise at various times during the 2019 season.

Dimitroff also said the Falcons will also be evaluating quarterbacks in the draft as well.

"Matt Schaub doesn't see the field that much but what he adds to the football team is always been very solid for us from an intelligence and game plan standpoint," Dimitroff said. "We do have a couple young quarterbacks we're excited about. Unfortunately, we had a situation with an injury last year. But we're hoping those guys come back, both Benkert and Etling and they [will] battle for it. It's going to be a really cool battle I believe for lack of a better word for that second or third spot. Doesn't mean we wouldn't look in the draft, of course because I think it's always important to keep your mind open."

Ryan, 34, suffered an ankle injury in the 2019 causing him to miss one game ending one of the longest active starting streaks in the NFL. Prior to last year, Ryan hadn't missed a game since the 2009 season.

In his lone start with Ryan sidelined, Schaub completed 39 passes for 460 yards and one touchdown.

Benkert shined during Atlanta's preseason opener in 2019 throwing 19 passes for 185 yards and one touchdown. In the second half of the Falcons' matchup with the Broncos, Benkert suffered a toe injury that placed him on injured reserve for the remainder of the year.

The Falcons then signed Etling after Benkert's season was cut short. Etling completed 17 of his 31 pass attempts in the preseason for 193 yards and one touchdown and spent the season on Atlanta's practice squad.

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