Matt Ryan's streak of 154 consecutive starts is in serious jeopardy as the downtrodden Atlanta Falcons host the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday. Ryan departed last week's loss to the Los Angeles Rams with a sprained right ankle, which has prevented him from practicing this week.
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Veteran backup Matt Schaub is being prepared to fill in for Ryan but hasn't started a game since 2015, when he twice received the call for Baltimore. "If (Ryan) can't, that's the reason Matt Schaub is here, is for moments like that," Falcons coach Dan Quinn told reporters. "If he is called upon, he'll certainly be ready to do that, much like it is at every position." Atlanta has lost five straight games as it faces a Seattle team that lost to the Ravens last week, ending its three-game winning streak. Russell Wilson is tied for the NFL lead with 15 touchdown passes and likely is salivating at the prospect of facing a Falcons defense that has allowed an average of 41.3 points over its last three contests.
TV: 1 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Seahawks -5.5. O/U: 53.5
ABOUT THE SEAHAWKS (5-2): Wilson has been intercepted just once while throwing for 1,945 yards and running back Chris Carson is providing good production with 569 yards on the ground. But the defense - which is allowing 25.1 points and 357 yards per game - hasn't always been sturdy, so Seattle acquired safety Quandre Diggs from Detroit on Tuesday. "He's an explosive player," coach Pete Carroll told reporters. "I've watched him for years be the kind of guy that throws his body around as well as you can do it. He's a real hitter and a playmaker. ... We really feel lucky to get him."
ABOUT THE FALCONS (1-6): The disappointing season was unforeseen and the rising speculation that Quinn's job could be in jeopardy prompted star wideout Julio Jones to speak out. "Well, at the end of the day, we're out there on the field. Coach Quinn is not on the field," Jones told reporters. "I don't know as far as defensive calls and things like that, how he does that, but the effort is there. I just feel like us, as competitors and professionals, we can do a better job of going out there and gelling together more." Atlanta's competitiveness has been lacking, with four of the setbacks being by 14 or more points.
1. Schaub has passed for 134 career touchdowns and topped 4,000 yards three times as a starter for Houston.
2. Atlanta traded WR Mohamed Sanu to New England for a 2020 second-round draft pick.
3. Seattle S Bradley McDougald (back) could miss his second straight game.