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Falcons’ Dan Quinn hopes to have Kaleb McGary back for start of season

Dan Quinn, Kaleb McGary

Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn was adamant during Sunday’s team training camp, telling assembled reporters he “hopes” 24-year-old offensive tackle Kaleb McGary will be back for the season.

Quinn, who’s been with the Falcons franchise since 2015, denied a chance to call the upcoming season a “redshirt year” for the first-year tackle McGary, per William McFadden on Twitter.

Atlanta selected the 6-foot-6, 306-pound tackle out of the University of Washington in 2019 in the first round of the draft (31st overall). McGary, however, had a procedure completed in his heart (cardiac ablation), and is currently sidelined while he recovers for a reported six-to-eight weeks.

In the meantime, the Falcons are looking for help protecting the pocket for 34-year-old quarterback Matt Ryan, who will enter his 12th season in the NFL—all with Atlanta. The former league MVP and four-time Pro-Bowler would have looked forward to new blood protecting him up front.

The Falcons also drafted a first-round offensive lineman, with Boston College’s Chris Lindstrom, a guard, selected 14th overall by the Atlanta organization. The 2019 draft’s haul of two O-linemen comes after the Falcons failed to select any from guards or tackles in 2018.

Atlanta also signed 26-year-old Jamon Brown to a three-year contract as a free agent during the offseason. Brown previously played for the St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams and New York Giants.

Additionally, the Falcons’ current offensive line depth includes former New York Jets guard James Carpenter, signed in free agency, undrafted free agent tackle Matt Gono, brought in after the 2018 draft, veteran guard Adam Gettis, 25-year-old Wes Schweitzer, Ty Sambrailo, former first-round pick tackle Jake Matthews, and six-time Pro-Bowler center Alex Mack.