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Report: Falcons to make Ridder new starting QB

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The Atlanta Falcons are turning to rookie quarterback Desmond Ridder as their starter, sources told NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

Marcus Mariota started the first 13 games of the season for the 5-8 Falcons. However, Mariota has thrown for less than 200 yards in each of his last five contests while tossing five touchdowns to three interceptions. Atlanta has gone 1-4 during that span.

Head coach Arthur Smith left open the possibility of a quarterback change following the team's loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 13, telling reporters "every job is open."

With the Falcons on a bye, Ridder is slated to make his first career start in Week 15 against the New Orleans Saints.

Drafted in the third round in 2022, Ridder flashed glimpses of promise during preseason action before taking the No. 2 job behind Mariota to open the campaign. In three preseason contests, the rookie signal-caller threw for three touchdowns, including a game-winning score in a win over the Detroit Lions.

Atlanta currently trails the 6-6 Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the NFC South lead.

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