Falcons scrambling for backup QB after losing AJ McCarron to torn ACL

The Atlanta Falcons backup quarterback AJ McCarron suffered a torn ACL and will miss the entire 2021 season, the team announced Sunday.

McCarron suffered the injury in Saturday's preseason loss to the Miami Dolphins. Head coach Arthur Smith anticipated the worst after McCarron sustained the non-contact injury on a handoff, telling reporters he was "heartbroken" for the quarterback. An MRI on Sunday confirmed the ACL tear.

In addition to the tough break for the seventh-year pro out of Alabama, the injury leaves the Falcons scrambling for a quarterback with three weeks left before their season-opener against the Seattle Seahawks. Undrafted rookie Feleipe Franks is the only healthy quarterback on the roster after starter Matt Ryan.

The ex-Florida and Arkansas quarterback hasn't impressed this preseason. He complete 4 of 9 pass attempts against the Dolphins for 46 yards and an interception. He also took four sacks.

MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA - AUGUST 21: AJ McCarron #5 of the Atlanta Falcons reacts as he is helped off the field by trainers after being injured during a preseason game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on August 21, 2021 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
AJ McCarron needed help off the field after tearing his ACL on Satuday (Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Will Falcons look to trade to find backup QB?

Atlanta could be forced to look to the trade market if it doesn't find a viable No. 2 quarterback in free agency. Former Jaguars and Rams quarterback Blake Bortles and recently released former first-round draft pick Josh Rosen are among the more notable quarterbacks available in free agency.

The good news for the Falcons is that Ryan is one of the NFL's most durable quarterbacks. The 13-year veteran has missed just three starts since joining the Falcons as a rookie in 2008.

BetMGM oddsmakers like the Falcons (+800) to finish in third place in the NFC South behind the favored Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-190) and New Orleans Saints (+325).

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