Regardless of how the Falcons choose to frame it, there’s officially a quarterback controversy brewing in Atlanta. After Desmond Ridder suffered an apparent head injury, the team played backup Taylor Heinicke in the second half of Sunday’s loss to the Titans.
Heinicke played extremely well, leading the offense to a 20-point second half and nearly pulling off a miraculous comeback. After the game, fans were anticipating an official switch to Heinicke as the starting quarterback.
Head coach Arthur Smith wouldn’t say who the QB would be in Week 9 but indicated that Desmond Ridder’s health was the only concern, per ESPN’s Michael Rothstein.
Falcons HC Arthur Smith said, on the QB situation, the number 1 concern is Desmond Ridder & his health.
"Sometimes the health and what is going on can affect performance."
Said next 24 hours they have to evaluate short-term what is best for Ridder health-wise & go from there.
— Michael Rothstein (@mikerothstein) October 30, 2023
Ridder was thought to be cleared for a concussion during the game, so it’ll be interesting to see what happens this week in practice. Smith said the team was going to take the next 24 hours to evaluate Ridder before declaring a starter for Week 9, per team reporter Tori McElhaney.
Arthur Smith confirmed the Falcons will make the decision about who's starting at quarterback vs. the Vikings on Wednesday.
"I promise you, I'll come in on Wednesday and tell you who's starting."
— Tori McElhaney (@tori_mcelhaney) October 30, 2023