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AJ McCarron, pegged as Falcons’ backup QB, out for season

Aug 21, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Atlanta Falcons quarterback AJ McCarron (5) drop back to attempts a pass against the Miami Dolphins during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 21, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Atlanta Falcons quarterback AJ McCarron (5) drop back to attempts a pass against the Miami Dolphins during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta Falcons backup quarterback AJ McCarron will need season-ending surgery to repair an ACL injury to his right knee, the team announced on Sunday.

McCarron, who was preparing for his seventh NFL season, all as a reserve, left in the second quarter of Saturday night’s 37-17 loss to the host Miami Dolphins. He scrambled for a seven-yard gain before linebacker Sam Eguavoen delivered a hard tackle.

McCarron stayed in the game, but grabbed at the knee after handing the ball off on the next play. Undrafted rookie Feleipe Franks took over and completed 4 of 9 passes for 46 yards with one interception.

Starting quarterback Matt Ryan has not appeared in either of Atlanta’s preseason games. Ryan and Franks are the only other quarterbacks on the Falcons’ roster. They open the season by hosting the Philadelphia Eagles on Sept. 12.

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A fifth-round draft choice by Cincinnati out of Alabama in 2014, McCarron spent three seasons with the Bengals, followed by one with the then-Oakland Raiders and two with the Houston Texans.

In 17 games, 11 of them with Cincinnati, McCarron has completed 109 of 174 passes for 1,173 yards and six touchdowns.

McCarron signed a one-year contract with the Falcons in April.

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–Field Level Media