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Taylor Heinicke inactive, Desmond Ridder to start for Falcons

Desmond Ridder will be back at the helm of the Falcons offense for the final game of the regular season.

Taylor Heinicke is inactive after being listed as questionable with an ankle injury and that means Ridder will get the start for the Falcons. If the Falcons beat the Saints and the Panthers beat the Buccaneers, the Falcons will go to the playoffs as the NFC South champs.

Heinicke was installed as the starter for the rest of the season a couple of weeks ago and he played well in a Christmas Eve win over the Colts, but the Falcons got routed by the Bears last weekend to leave their playoff hopes on life support.

Ridder has not impressed in his first full season as the starter and there's plenty of uncertainty about the future on many fronts in Atlanta. A good showing on Sunday might not get the Falcons into the postseason, but it could keep Ridder in the mix this offseason.