Falcons bench Marcus Mariota to rookie Desmond Ridder: reports

Atlanta Falcons quarterback changes and rookie Desmond Ridder becomes the team’s starter, according to NFL Media.

Veteran quarterback Marcus Mariota was sent to the bench. The switch comes as the Falcons’ playoff hopes continue to fade as the team has lost four of their last five games.

The Falcons fell to 5-8 on the season after losing 19-16 to Steelers at 13 weeks. After the game, head coach Arthur Smith did not rule out the possibility of Mariota leaving and noted that each position would be evaluated.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE SPORTS ADS ON FOXNEWS.COM

Marcus Mariota (left) and Desmond Ridder of the Atlanta Falcons walk off the field after a game against the Cincinnati Bengals on October 1.  February 23, 2022 in Cincinnati.

Marcus Mariota (left) and Desmond Ridder of the Atlanta Falcons walk off the field after a game against the Cincinnati Bengals on October 1. February 23, 2022 in Cincinnati.
(Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

“In the next couple of days we will have some very intense meetings. Changes will be made. Whatever we decide to do, I will try to be as transparent as possible,” Smith said on Monday. Second year head coach previously evaded any questions due to a potential change in quarterback position.

Mariota has not been able to throw the ball accurately and consistently this season.

The Falcons selected Ridder in the third round from Cincinnati. He started four years in Cincinnati and led the Bearcats to College football Playoffs last season.

Ridder has won 44 games in Cincinnati, the third most in American football history.

RAMS’ BAKER MAYFIELD EXPECTED TO BE ACTIVE AGAINST. RADERS REPORT

The rookie was able to rack up a significant amount of reps during the preseason, but never appeared to compete against Mariota for the starting role during training camp.

Ridder once led a team of scouts. NFL The regular season began, but he also worked with Mariota and was often seen asking questions of the veteran quarterback.

Desmond Ridder

Desmond Ridder
(Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

In 2019, the Tennessee Titans replaced Mariota on the bench in favor of Ryan Tannehill; Arthur Smith was the team’s offensive coordinator at the time.

The former Oregon standout signed with the Falcons just hours after the franchise traded longtime starter Matt Ryan to the Colts. Ryan requested a trade after the team failed to pursue an embattled quarterback, Deshawn Watson.

KENTUCKY’S WILL LEVIS TO PASS BOWL GAME FOR NFL DRAFT

Mariota’s best performance this year came in Week 6 against the San Francisco 49ers. He threw for two touchdowns, ran for 50 yards, and completed just over 92% of his passes for the day.

He was then named NFC Offensive Player of the Week.

Marcus Mariota of the Atlanta Falcons attempts a second-quarter pass against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on November 11.  November 10, 2022 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Marcus Mariota of the Atlanta Falcons attempts a second-quarter pass against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on November 11. November 10, 2022 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
(Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

But the past few weeks have been hectic for the Heisman Trophy winner. Mariota missed over 65% of his passes last month. He has thrown five touchdowns and three steals in his last five games.

The quarterback has 184-of-300 for 2,219 yards, 15 touchdowns and 9 interceptions in a season.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

In college, Ridder threw for over 10,000 yards. Now he has the final four games of the season to try and make his mark at the NFL level.

The Falcons have a farewell week, and on December 1 they will play the division rival New Orleans Saints. eighteen