Falcons make Desmond Ridder QB1 for rest of season

The Atlanta Falcons announced Monday that Desmond Ridder has regained the starting quarterback role for this week and the rest of the season.

The move comes amid a hamstring injury to Taylor Heinicke, who started the past two games.

“There was a lot of things going on,” Falcons head coach Arthur Smith said. “Everybody’s got their own stories or you look at the history certain things that have gone on with different players and quarterbacks and things have come up.

“… So there’s a lot going on but I think things, the way they worked out, I think we’re in a good spot and certainly Des is prepared and fired up and ready to go.”

Smith said Logan Woodside would be Ridder’s primary backup this week against visiting New Orleans if Heinicke is unavailable to play. The Falcons had a bye in Week 11.

Ridder started the Falcons’ first eight games before being evaluated for a concussion during a game against the Tennessee Titans on Oct. 29. Heinicke entered that game and started the past two for Atlanta (4-6).

Ridder, 24, has completed 65.4 of his passes for 1,740 yards with six touchdowns and six interceptions in nine games this season. He was selected by Atlanta in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft.

Heinicke, 30, completed 55.4 percent of his passes for 498 yards with three touchdowns and one pick in parts of three games this season.