The Atlanta Falcons made a move to get one step closer to getting 2021 third-round draft pick Jalen Mayfield back on the field.
Mayfield was forced into action at left guard as an inexperienced rookie, and his play, and the Falcons offense suffered.
Inexperienced rookie? Aren’t they all.
Yes, that’s would seem to be redundant, but Mayfield played in just 18 games in college, with 15 starts at right tackle before making the move to the NFL.
He started more games at guard for the Falcons, than he started in college.
He struggled again in the preseason, and it was revealed by head coach Arthur Smith that Mayfield had been battling a nagging injury. It must have been more serious than Smith and the Falcons let on, because we’re heading into Week 11 before Mayfield is seeing the practice field.
The Falcons have 21 days after bringing Mayfield off injured reserve to evaluate him and decide if they want to add him to the 53-man, release him, or put him on season-ending injured reserve.
Elijah Wilkinson was signed to provide cover for Mayfield, and he has been good at left guard for the Falcons. But Wilkinson has missed two starts for various reasons as well, and Colby Gossett struggled in his place against the Panthers on Thursday.
Mayfield wasn’t good last season, but that wasn’t entirely his fault. A redshirt year of sorts in 2022 could do the still-just 22-year old second-year lineman some good.