Ridder to replace Mariota as Falcons starting quarterback

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The Atlanta Falcons are handing Desmond Ridder the starting quarterback berth when they return from their bye week.

The 2022 third-round pick has been elevated to starter ahead of Marcus Mariota, with NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport saying his first game in that role will come in Week 15 against the New Orleans Saints.

Having traded Matt Ryan to the Indianapolis Colts in the offseason, Ridder was picked up on Day 2 of the Draft and showed flashes of his ability during preseason – though a patient approach has led to him standing as back-up to Mariota for the first 13 weeks of the campaign.

Standing 5-8, the Falcons have hit a rough patch after failing to score more than 17 points in each of their four losses over the past five weeks, with Atlanta's chances of reaching the playoffs now looking slim.

Turning to Ridder for the remaining weeks of the season will provide experience to the rookie ahead of an expected first full campaign as the leading quarterback in 2023.

A decision will need to be made regarding Mariota, however, with Tom Pelissero reporting the 29-year-old is due $12million in 2023, including a $3m bonus in March.