NFL

Matt Ryan’s Back Hurts From Carrying Atlanta; Now His Ankles Cost Him a Record

Matt Ryan was poised to have a record start to the Falcons’ frustrating season entering their Week 7 matchup against the Los Angeles Rams. Unfortunately, he left the game with an ankle injury that could result in missed time.

With Ryan’s status questionable, it’s time for people to consider how much quarterbacks like Ryan can put themselves through to keep even the most disastrous teams afloat. 

The Falcons’ 2019 season

The Falcons could not have a more disastrous start to the season. Through seven games, they hold a 6-1 record, with many of the games being utter blowouts. Two examples: a 32-53 loss to the Houston Texans to a 28-12 loss in the opener to the Vikings. While the team’s offense has not been there week to week, the team’s defense is letting them down, too.

The Falcons have yet to allow less than 20 points in a game. With the 31st ranked defense in the NFL, Matt Ryan has had to work for wins even if he was putting up record-breaking numbers. The team allows nearly 32 points per game, and it shows no sign of getting better. 

Matt Ryan’s record that wasn’t

Heading into the seventh game, Ryan had done everything in his power to keep the team afloat. From disappointing defense to an offensive line and core not doing him any favors, the 34-year-old has been lauded for working hard and trying to play through this disastrous season.

Ryan isn’t without fault, with poor showings in at least a few of the losses, but it’s hard to pin much on him. Despite the terrible start from the team, Ryan was chasing history. In the first six games, warts and all, Ryan threw for more than 300 yards. Had he entered Week 7 with more than 300 throwing yards, he would’ve been the first quarterback to do so.

At six, he was tied with Steve Young and Kurt Warner as the only quarterback to do so. Unfortunately, an injury derailed the feat and the Falcons’ disastrous year may get worse if he cannot recover.

Matt Ryan’s injury

Matt Ryan has not missed an NFL game since 2009, but his ankle injury puts these 10 years in jeopardy. According to Sporting News, Ryan skipped a Wednesday practice leading into the team’s game against the Seattle Seahawks. Ryan is tough, but he cannot risk long-term injury in a season that may already be a lost cause. 

Falcons coach Dan Quinn believes Ryan has a shot at playing, even with the minor setback. “Hopefully we will have a better sense as the week goes,” Quinn said per Sporting News. “You can never count him out … He definitely thinks there’s an opportunity for him to be able to go.”

Ryan had been seen walking around while wearing a boot after his injury against the Rams. Since missing his last game, he’s played in 154 consecutive games and 9,704 offensive snaps en-route to an 86-68 record.

If Ryan can play in Week 8, there’s a good chance he will. But it may be another frustrating performance where his teammates let him down again. 

The quarterback conundrum

When the Falcons made it to the Super Bowl, it seemed like Ryan would be vindicated for all the things he put up with as a quarterback. Perhaps, it was fitting that the Patriots would come back and bury his team in front of an international audience.

Regardless of how Ryan performs, he has consistently played for a team that made it hard to succeed even in the most ideal of situations.