Marcus Mariota Titans Jaguars Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

The 19-16 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers last Sunday, Dec. 4, could be the last time fans will see the 2014 Heisman Trophy winner under center for the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Atlanta Falcons (5-8) head coach Arthur Smith told reporters on Wednesday that backup quarterback Marcus Mariota, will be placed on injured reserve and is expected to have a procedure on his knee scheduled for next week.

The news of Mariota's knee surgery has surfaced a week after coach Smith benched Mariota in favor of rookie quarterback Desmond Ridder for the Falcons Week 15 game against the New Orleans Saints at Caesars Superdome.

"Things come up. Those are the things that happen in pro football," Smith said, as quoted by ESPN. "A guy has an issue, goes to see a doctor. That's what happens."

The eight-year veteran has thrown for 2,219 yards, and 15 touchdowns this season. Unfortunately, the Falcons have lost four of their last five games with the former Oregon Duck standout under center.

With just four games remaining, an injured reserve designation guarantees Mariota won’t return this year.

Ridder, 23, was the team's third-round selection in the 2022 NFL draft. The two-time First-team All-AAC quarterback threw for 10,239 yards and 87 touchdowns in four seasons as a Cincinnati Bearkat. In Atlanta's first preseason game of the year, Ridder threw a game-winning touchdown against the Detriot Lions.

Without Mariota, Logan Woodside, signed Saturday off the Tennessee Titans practice squad will serve as the backup to Ridder.

© 2024 Latin Times. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.