After their lowest rushing performance since 2015, the Falcons, an outside-zone rushing team, is contemplating changes along the offensive line.
“We’ll work through some things this week, but I’ll have no announcements regarding a lineup change or not,” Falcons coach Dan Quinn said on Monday. “That’s something we’re definitely discussing through the week.”
The Falcons were held to 26 rushing yards on 16 carries in a 31-17 loss to the Saints that eliminated them from the NFC South divisional title race.
The Falcons still have a long shot chance to make the playoffs as a wild card.
The rushing total was the lowest since a 17-yard effort in a 17-16 to San Francisco on Nov. 8, 2015. Devonta Freeman was held to 12 yards on 12 carries.
Right guard Ben Garland and right tackle Ryan Schraeder had tough outings against the Saints. The Falcons have a couple of options on the roster.
Veteran Zane Beadles, 32, has started 115 games in the NFL. The Falcons signed him on Oct. 30 after starting right guard Brandon Fusco suffered a broken ankle, but he has played sparingly in four games.
Beadles was a second-round pick out of Utah by the Broncos in the 2010 NFL draft. He has played for the Broncos (2010-13), Jaguars (2014-15) and 49ers (2016-17). He made the Pro Bowl in 2012.
Beadles has played mostly left guard over his career.
Also, at tackle, the Falcons could look at Ty Sambrailo, who’s been playing some at tight end in power formations.
The Falcons lost starting guards Andy Levitre (pectoral surgery) and Brandon Fusco (broken ankle) to injury this season.
Beadles has been practicing at guard and tackle.
On 53 drop backs by Ryan, he was sacked or hit on 19 of them, or 36 percent of the time against the Saints.
“I’m good physically, being 32 years old and training the way that I felt like I needed to for my body,” Beadles said. “I was really excited to have a opportunity to come here and play football feeling better physically maybe than I ever have in my career.”
Beadles was hoping he would be signed during free agency.
“I hadn’t really done actually football stuff since the end of last season,” Beadles said. “I wasn’t in OTAs with a team. I was working on stuff with myself, but it’s kind of hard to do when it’s just you working out at the gym.”
He’s had to shake some rust off his game since signing with the Falcons.
“There was definitely a little while of getting back use to, moving and having your balance the right way and all that kind of stuff,” Beadles said. “ Luckily, for me I’ve played this game a long time and it came back pretty quick.”
Beadles said he’s ready to start if needed.
“Absolutely,” Beadles said. “I’m excited for an opportunity.”
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