McKinley did not practice Thursday for the second consecutive day and won’t play this weekend as he continues to deal with a lingering groin injury. After what coaches determined to be a solid offseason and training camp, followed by a strong performance in the opener against the Seattle Seahawks, McKinley injured his groin in the first half of the Falcons' loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Since, the injury has been a burden as he’s appeared in only four total games this season.
McKinley, taken in the first round of the 2017 NFL draft, has posted only one sack this season, which came on the first defensive play from scrimmage against the Seahawks. Although McKinley isn’t practicing because of injury at the moment, Morris did not rule out a possible suspension. However, it is unlikely the Falcons would cut McKinley as that would deny the team the opportunity to receive a 2022 compensatory pick if he signs with another club in free agency.
“There’s always an option to suspend and there’s always an option just not to play,” Morris said. “There’s always an option for us to do everything we do. I know a lot of his money is guaranteed, but we’ll obviously talk to (team president) Rich (McKay) about that and go through that whole process. Obviously, we’ll talk to Takk and get that thing done because we’re not going to sit here and talk about that through the papers or through media or however you want to do it. That’s a grown-man conversation with another grown man.”