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Falcons pulled Ryan, five others as healthy scratches against Dolphins over weather, field conditions

Field conditions may have played a factor in the Falcons pulling several starters. (By D. Orlando Ledbetter/dledbetter@ajc.com)
Field conditions may have played a factor in the Falcons pulling several starters. (By D. Orlando Ledbetter/dledbetter@ajc.com)

Six starters were healthy scratches and did not play in the exhibition game against the Miami Dolphins on Thursday, the Falcons announced before kickoff.

Quarterback Matt Ryan, running back Devonta Freeman, defensive tackle Grady Jarrett, center Alex Mack, wide receiver Mohammed Sanu and left tackle Jake Matthews do not have injuries, but did not dress for the game.

“If he was, it was going to be a pretty quick hook, and all by design,” Falcons coach Dan Quinn said. “We've chosen a couple of games in that middle for him to get more extensive work. For him, it's more important that he gets more than a few plays.”

The weather and field conditions factored heavily into the Falcons’ decision.

It was raining hours before the game and a soccer match between Barcelona and Napoli on Wednesday night left the field in bad shape.

“So when he's coming down pretty early, pretty good early on, we decided for a couple of those guys, he and (Mohamed) Sanu, we’d wait in the best interests of some of the guys we wanted to see,” Quinn said. “It was a pretty easy decision for (general manager) Thomas (Dimitroff) and I.”

Also, wide receiver Julio Jones (foot), returner Marcus Green (hamstring), linebacker Duke Riley (groin), wide receiver Calvin Ridley (strained hamstring), defensive tackle RaShede Hageman (groin), right tackle Kaleb McGary (heart), guard James Carpenter (hip flexor), cornerback Taveze Calhoun, linebacker Foye Oluokun and linebacker Richie Brown will not play.