FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan has a right ankle sprain and won’t practice to start the week, but coach Dan Quinn stopped short of ruling Ryan out for Sunday’s matchup against the Seattle Seahawks.
“He does have a sprained ankle,” Quinn said Monday. “We’ll be preparing both ways. If he can [play], that’s great. And if he can’t, then the bye would come at a good time for him next week. He’s already in the pool running. You guys have been around him. He’ll try anything he can.
“If he can’t [play], that’s the reason Matt Schaub is here, is for moments like that. If he is called upon, he’ll certainly be ready to do that.”
Ryan, who hasn’t missed a game since December 2009, suffered the ankle injury in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s 37-10 loss to the Los Angeles Rams. He was sacked by Rams star Aaron Donald, who beat left guard Wes Schweitzer. Ryan remained on the ground for a moment, then was helped over to the sideline and checked out in the tent before limping to the locker room. Ryan wore a protective boot after the game.
Quinn declined to call Ryan’s injury a high-ankle sprain.
“We’ll stay with sprain,” Quinn said. “But we’re hopeful that it’s … knowing him, there’s lot of degrees to a sprain. You guys all know that, just like there is with a pull or a strain. With him, I wouldn’t put anything out of the running. But hopefully it’s not a long-term thing and more of a shorter-term thing.”
Pressed on whether it would make more sense to rest Ryan this week regardless and give him more time to recover with the bye week after the Seattle game, Quinn didn’t necessarily lean in that direction.
“That’s not a question that I’ve asked,” Quinn said. “If he’s ready to, then he would [play]. We wouldn’t put him out there if he couldn’t do all the things that he needs to. If he had to be out there where he was playing on one foot, then that wouldn’t be the right way to go, for sure.
“If he can show that he’s, by the end of the week, able to do the things he does, the keepers and moving around — he’s not the fastest guy, but he does move around in the pocket, I think you guys know that, and is able to extend plays to get first downs – that’s also part of his game. I think we’d have to know that he can do everything in his limits.”
Quinn said he’ll have a better sense toward the end of the week regarding Ryan’s practice and game availability.
Ryan hasn’t missed a start since he missed consecutive games to turf toe in December of ’09. He had made 154 consecutive starts, playing 9,704 offensive snaps over that time span while going 86-68.
Schaub last started a game in December 2015 while with the Baltimore Ravens. The 38-year-old, a 2004 third-round draft pick of the Falcons and former backup to Michael Vick, has 92 career starts and a career record of 47-45.
“If I’m called upon and I’ve got to step in there, whether it be in practice or the games, I’ll be there for my guys,” Schaub said after Ryan’s injury.
Through seven games this season, Ryan has completed 202 of 285 passes for 2,170 yards with 15 touchdowns and eight interceptions — one more interception than he threw all of last season. Ryan has been sacked 19 times, including five times in a game twice, against the Rams and the Tennessee Titans.
The Falcons, who are 1-6 and have lost five games in a row, have the Seahawks (5-2) — Quinn’s former team — coming to town Sunday.