Aug 27, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Falcons quarterback Desmond Ridder (4) throws a pass against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the first half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Falcons rookie QB Desmond Ridder to start in Week 15

Rookie Desmond Ridder is the starting quarterback of the Atlanta Falcons when the team returns from their bye week, NFL Network reported on Thursday.

Per the report, Ridder will usurp Marcus Mariota and be under center for the Falcons at New Orleans in Week 15. The 23-year-old Ridder has yet to play a snap in the regular season. He was selected by the Falcons in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft out of Cincinnati.

A dual-threat quarterback, Ridder tossed a school-record 87 touchdown passes during his four seasons with the Bearcats. His 44 wins at Cincinnati are the third-most in college football history.

He guided the Bearcats to a 13-1 record in 2021, passing for 3,334 yards, 30 touchdowns and eight interceptions.

Ridder was named the American Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year in 2020 and 2021.

The Falcons (5-8) lost four of their last five games to fall behind the NFC South-leading Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-6).

Atlanta coach Arthur Smith told reporters that “every job is open” on Monday, one day after the Falcons dropped a 19-16 decision to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Mariota, 29, has completed just 61.3 percent of his passes for 2,219 yards with 15 touchdowns and nine interceptions while making all 13 starts this season. His 15 TDs rank 16th in the NFL. He is tied for fifth (most) in the NFL with Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Minnesota Vikings’ Kirk Cousins with nine interceptions.

Mariota garnered criticism for missing open receivers in the loss to the Steelers. His interception on the Falcons’ final drive sealed the victory for Pittsburgh.

The Falcons have struggled mightily in the passing game this season. Per STATS, the Falcons rank 27th in the NFL in “big pass plays” (25-plus-yard pass plays) and 31st in pass attempts this season.

–Field Level Media

Jun 9, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Falcons quarterback Desmond Ridder (4) gets a drink during OTA at Falcons Training Complex. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Falcons QB Desmond Ridder agrees to 4-year rookie deal

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Desmond Ridder agreed to his four-year rookie deal, multiple outlets reported on Tuesday.

The third-round draft pick’s contract is worth a reported $5.362 million and includes a $1.08 million signing bonus.

Ridder, 22, reached an agreement in time to report with the other Atlanta rookies for training camp on Tuesday.

Ridder guided Cincinnati to a 13-1 record in 2021, passing for 3,334 yards, 30 touchdowns and eight interceptions.

With longtime starter Matt Ryan now in Indianapolis, Ridder enters camp at No. 2 on the Falcons’ QB depth chart behind veteran Marcus Mariota.

–Field Level Media

Jan 1, 2021; Atlanta, GA, USA; Cincinnati Bearcats quarterback Desmond Ridder (9) throws a pass against the Georgia Bulldogs in the first quarter of the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Cincinnati QB Desmond Ridder staying in school

Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder will remain with the Bearcats for his senior season in 2021.

He guided the Bearcats to a top 10 national ranking, a conference championship and a 9-0 start this season before the team dropped a 24-21 decision to Georgia in the Peach Bowl on Jan. 1.

“There is still unfinished business,” Ridder said in a video posted Friday to Twitter. “I’ll be back in the red and black for my final season.”

Ridder completed 66.2 percent of his passes for 2,296 yards, 19 touchdowns and six interceptions and rushed for 592 yards and 12 scores in 2020.

He is 30-5 as a starter at Cincinnati, passing for 6,905 yards and 57 touchdowns and rushing for 1,814 yards and 22 scores.

–Field Level Media