Atlanta Falcons first-rounder Kaleb McGary to undergo heart procedure

Atlanta Falcons first-round offensive tackle Kaleb McGary is expected to undergo a heart procedure, according to the team. His timetable to return is unknown, according to reports.

McGary, the 31st selection in the 2019 NFL draft (and the Falcons’ second of two first-rounders this year), will undergo the procedure on Wednesday. He’s had two similar procedures before while in college to help prevent his heart from beating abnormally.

What does this procedure entail?

The procedure typically takes around four hours. Although it’s considered minimally invasive and McGary is not believed to have life-threatening concerns now, there is still the concern about his ability to have a normal NFL career if there are complications.

A timetable for his return to football activities is expected to be formulated following the completion of the procedure.

Atlanta Falcons offensive tackle Kaleb McGary will miss time following a heart procedure. (Getty Images)
Atlanta Falcons offensive tackle Kaleb McGary will miss time following a heart procedure. (Getty Images)

McGary, who had been battling Ty Sambraillo for the starting right tackle job in training camp, left Falcons practice on Tuesday with what the team said was an illness.

The Falcons were aware of McGary’s previous heart-related concerns, and GM Thomas Dimitroff said the team signed off medically on him. McGary once passed out during a high-school basketball game because of his arrhythmia and was closely monitored by the University of Washington’s medical staff throughout his career there on the football team.

Other NFL teams, however, issued caution with McGary’s medical outlook prior to the draft to Yahoo Sports, in addition to some other elements of his game that raised some consternation.

After selecting Boston College offensive guard Chris Lindstrom with the 14th overall pick this spring, the Falcons traded back up into Round 1 to take McGary. He signed a four-year, $10.2 million deal — with $9.1 million guaranteed — shortly after the draft.

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