It’s not good news, but Kaleb McGary will be back sooner, at the very least.
Yesterday, the Falcons placed Matt Gono, Kaleb McGary and Deadrin Senat on the physically unable to perform list. In training camp, that means there’s some reason a player cannot practice, but the bright note is that you can activate someone from that list at any time. We were hopeful that would mean all three would be back at some point during training camp.
Arthur Smith delivered an update today after the first day of practices, letting us know that while McGary “could be back sooner than later,” Gono and Senat will likely not be out there for training camp at all.
Falcons HC Arthur Smith said to not expect Matt Gono and Deadrin Senat at camp. Kaleb McGary could be back sooner than later but didn’t want to put a timeline on it.
— Michael Rothstein (@mikerothstein) July 29, 2021
This is light on specifics, obviously, but the key takeaway for McGary is that it doesn’t appear like he’s in dangerous of missing camp. The team’s projected starting right tackle for the third year running, McGary is someone the Falcons absolutely need out there, so the sooner he’s back the better I’ll feel about the offensive line. While he’s out, it looks like rookie Jalen Mayfield is taking first-team snaps at right tackle, which would seem to indicate he’s either not going to be a major factor in the left guard battle or he’s going to have to wait to become one.
The news isn’t as good for Gono and Senat, obviously. Gono was expected to either compete for the left guard job or settle in as a very capable swing tackle, and while the exact nature of his injury remains shrouded in mystery, it’s clear it’s serious enough to potentially impact his availability for the season. Losing Gono for any length of time is a huge blow to the quality of the team’s depth along the offensive line, so we’ll have to hope he won’t miss any time beyond camp. We’ll hope for further updates from the coaching staff as July rolls into August.
Senat, of course, was going to spend training camp fighting for a job in a crowded defensive tackle group after spending most of his time under Dan Quinn in mothballs. If he’s truly out for camp, Senat seems likely to be looking for a new team when roster cuts arrive, given that one of Atlanta’s relative strengths just so happens to be his position group and he won’t get a chance to show the new coaching staff that he belongs. We don’t know what’s going on with him, either, but it’s unfortunate his fresh start won’t translate into a real opportunity.
We’ll hope McGary’s back soon and Gono and Senat will be able to go for the regular season, even if Senat’s no longer here.