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Report: Tests confirm ACL tear for Falcons quarterback AJ McCarron

Article written by:On3 imageJames Fletcher III


Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Atlanta Falcons backup quarterback AJ McCarron suffered a torn ACL during Saturday’s preseason loss against the Miami Dolphins, per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s D. Orlando Ledbetter. Tests run on Sunday confirmed the team’s fears following a non-contact injury early in the game.

McCarron has thrown for 1,173 yards in his NFL career with six touchdowns and three interceptions in 17 games, including four starts.

He has played six seasons in the NFL, primarily as a backup. He made stops with the Cincinnati Bengals, Buffalo Bills, Oakland Raiders and Houston Texans before signing with the Falcons this season to backup Matt Ryan.

The 30-year-old quarterback was listed as second on the Falcons quarterback depth chart before the injury. He is a former two-time national champion from Alabama and was drafted in 2014.

NFL Network’s Cameron Wolfe reported on the injury situation, highlighting that this could lead to a change in the depth chart for Atlanta.

“AJ McCarron has been ruled out of the game with a right knee injury. It’s Feleipe Franks’ show for rest of night. Something to watch going forward too. McCarron has been the Falcons QB2 all camp.”

Finding a backup quarterback

While not competing for the starting position, McCarron had settled in well as the backup for Matt Ryan. After AJ McCarron left the game Saturday with a non-contact ACL injury, the door was left open for Atlanta’s rookie Feleipe Franks.

Franks played college football for Florida and then Arkansas after transferring for his senior season. Franks signed as an undrafted free agent with the Atlanta Falcons this season.

The rookie quarterback finished Saturday’s game with 46 yards and an interception, adding 32 rushing yards on three carries.

ESPN’s Michael Rothstein believes the team will now look for another quarterback to compete for the backup role. There are two weeks before the start of the regular season.