Atlanta Falcons rookie quarterback Desmond Ridder is set to take over as the starter in place of Marcus Mariota in Week 15, according to multiple reports.
However, the team signed on some extra quarterback help in former Tennessee Titans’ QB Logan Woodside on Saturday, December 10, per Titans’ beat writer Jim Wyatt.
In a corresponding mover, the Falcons waived linebacker Nate Landman from the practice squad. Landman had a solid offseason showing but struggled to beat out his competition in Rashaan Evans, Mykal Walker and Troy Andersen in order to make it past final roster cuts and on to the Falcons’ 53-man roster.
Woodside Entered the League in 2018
Woodside, 27, was initially selected by the Cincinnati Bengals in the seventh round of the 2018 draft out of Toledo. Unfortunately, Woodside never made is past the preseason as he was waived by the team on September 1.
From there, he had two stints with the Tennesee Titans, the first in 2018 and then once again in 2019 through 2022 where he crossed paths with head coach Arthur Smith and Marcus Mariota.
For a short time in 2019, Woodside did find some success in the AAF league, however, that was soon canceled due to the COVID pandemic.
Over the last two years with Tennessee, Woodside has appeared in 11 games and has completed just 1 of 3 passes for seven yards. He has yet to make an NFL start.
The addition of Woodside is a surprising move with the Falcons set to make the switch to Ridder and Mariota still on the roster. Although, the team has yet to make it official. But, we will know more on Monday when Smith returns from the bye week and addresses the media ahead of their Week 15 matchup against the New Orleans Saints.
Falcons to Bench Marcus Mariota
The Falcons are benching Mariota for Ridder, a source told ESPN’s Michael Rothstein on December 8.
The decision comes after the Falcons lost a must-win game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, 19-16 where Mariota completed 13 of 24 passes for 167 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
When asked after the Steelers’ loss if a QB switch was coming, head coach Arthur Smith hinted that changes would be made.
“Everything’s on the table,” Smith told reporters after the game when asked about making the switch to Ridder. “It’ll be good to take a step back. There will be changes made. We have to look at everything.”
If so, Mariota finishes the 2022 season as Atlanta’s starter completing 184-of-300 for 2,219 yards, 15 touchdowns and 9 interceptions for Atlanta. He also rushed for a career-high 85 times for 438 yards and four touchdowns. He also ran the ball 501 times for 2,180 yards and 28 touchdowns.
As for Ridder, Falcons fans have not seen or heard much of him since the three preseason games where he posted some promising numbers, going 34-for-56 for 431 passing yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions. He also rushed eight times for 58 yards.
Ridder ultimately has four games to prove himself or the Falcons could turn to the 2023 NFL draft for his replacement. He is set to get the start against the New Orleans Saints, Baltimore Ravens, Arizona Cardinals and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.