Whereas Falcons coach Arthur Smith did not wish to speculate on the precise nature of McCarron’s damage till after the veteran has an MRI, he didn’t sound inspired by the doable prognosis.
“I actually really feel for AJ McCarron,” Smith mentioned. “Any time one thing like that occurs and it is non-contact, it is powerful when you already know what these guys put into it. I really feel for AJ. We’ll clearly get the MRI to verify however he is heartbroken.
“He had bounced again and he was on the market preventing, preventing for his group and attempting to get the additional yards.”
The damage got here with 10 minutes left within the first half. McCarron handed the ball off to working again Qadree Ollison and as he got here out of his typical motion following the handoff he grabbed his proper knee.
McCarron tried to stroll towards the sideline however could not initially get there. Falcons’ medical employees got here to look at him and he walked off to the sideline. Minutes later, McCarron walked slowly to the Atlanta locker room. He accomplished 3-of-6 passes for 43 yards towards the Dolphins with one run for seven yards. The run got here the play earlier than he damage his knee.
Smith mentioned he wasn’t positive whether or not that play had something to do with McCarron’s damage. McCarron was changed by undrafted rookie Feleipe Franks, who he had been battling with for the No. 2 place all through coaching camp. Franks, who was initially anticipated to play the second half, entered the sport with 10 minutes left within the first half as an alternative.
Franks accomplished 4-of-9 passes for 46 yards, no touchdowns and one interception whereas additionally speeding 3 times for 32 yards. He was additionally sacked 4 occasions.
“The one factor that Feleipe has proven is that he can lengthen performs,” Smith mentioned. “I assumed he threw the ball a bit bit higher tonight at occasions. Nonetheless bought to push him the place he is had numerous development and can proceed to develop.”
Smith mentioned so as to develop quarterbacks, you must play them and that was the philosophy with Franks over the primary two preseason video games. Smith mentioned sadly the state of affairs Franks confronted Saturday — being compelled to play sooner than anticipated because of damage — is what his position can be as a backup quarterback generally.
McCarron’s damage leaves Atlanta with extra questions behind starter Matt Ryan, who has not performed this preseason. The Falcons might examine the free-agent market, the place former first-round picks Blake Bortles and Robert Griffin III are among the many prime out there choices.
“You are at all times going to look to enhance the group,” Smith mentioned. “So we have now to evaluate what the damage is. Till we get an MRI, you have seen issues occur earlier than and it is fast. However any time, we’re at all times trying to enhance the roster.
“If its long run, positive, we’ll proceed to look.”
The Falcons signed McCarron to a one-year deal for greater than $1.21 million on April 30 — hours previous to the second day of the NFL draft — to be No. 2 on the depth chart. A fifth-round select of Alabama in 2014 by Cincinnati, McCarron has performed in 17 video games, beginning 4 and finishing 62.6 % of his passes for 1,173 yards, six touchdowns and three interceptions.