Falcons’ Matt Ryan going into season with no game action

Credit: Curtis Compton / curtis.compton@ajc.com

Credit: Curtis Compton / curtis.compton@ajc.com

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan warmed up before the team faced the Cleveland Browns, but he didn’t start the game and was not expected to play Sunday night at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

If he doesn’t enter the game, he will have not played a down in the three exhibition games this season.

“I feel pretty good with where we are at,” Ryan said on Wednesday when asked if he’d be comfortable not playing in the exhibition season.

There was no exhibition season in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic, so for the second year in a row Ryan will enter the regular season with no exhibition game work. Ryan, 36, is set to enter his 14th season in the league.

First-year coach Arthur Smith and Ryan, who won the league’s MVP award after the 2016 season, are putting a lot of stock in the two joint practices the Falcons held with the Dolphins in Miami on Aug. 18 and 19.

“I thought the joint practices last week in Miami were really good,” Ryan said. “To go against some different looks, different players, to not see the same thing, react to some different things, different speed. It thought that was really good for us.”

The Browns on Sunday played quarterback Baker Mayfield for two series. He completed 6 of 10 passes for 113 yards and tossed a 22-yard touchdown strike to KhaDarel Hodge. He finished with a passer rating of 132.5.

Ryan planned to go along with Smith’s wishes.

“Whatever Art asks me to do, I’ll be ready to go Sunday night,” Ryan said. “I feel like I’ll be ready to go in a few weeks when we kick it off (against) Philadelphia.”

The Falcons open the regular season at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 12, against the Eagles at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

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