FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Quinn isn’t anticipating moves before Tuesday’s NFL trade deadline.
More than that, Quinn says he sees no need for the resurgent Falcons to seek help from a trade.
The Falcons (3-4) return from their bye week looking to continue momentum from two straight wins as they prepare to play at Washington (5-2) on Sunday.
“We really feel this team, where we’re at and how we can go and attack from here, we have the right men to do that,” Quinn said after Monday’s practice when asked about the trade deadline.
That’s a strong vote of confidence from the coach of a team with six starters on injured reserve — including both safeties and both offensive guards.
Quinn said he and general manager Thomas Dimitroff have discussed inquiries from other teams but haven’t found a trade to pursue. “Not at this point,” he said.
Quinn and Dimitroff have been kept busy this season adjusting to the growing list of players lost with injuries.
The latest challenge comes on the offensive line.
Right guard Brandon Fusco suffered a broken right ankle in Atlanta’s win over the New York Giants on Oct. 22 and was placed on injured reserve last week. Fusco joined left guard Andy Levitre on IR. Levitre suffered a season-ending triceps injury in a Week 2 win over Carolina.
Wes Schweitzer has filled in for Levitre. Another veteran with starting experience, Ben Garland, will move up this week to replace Fusco at right guard.
Garland will face an immediate challenge against a Redskins defense that sacked Giants quarterback Eli Manning seven times in Sunday’s 20-13 win .
“I was very impressed with the stoutness of their inside three guys,” Quinn said, naming nose tackle Daron Payne and defensive ends Matt Ioannidis and Jonathan Allen. Ioannidis had 2 ½ sacks against the Giants.
Garland, who started three games last season, has experience at both guard spots and even has seen spot duty at defensive tackle.
“I’m confident playing left (guard),” Garland said. “I’m confident playing right. Center. It doesn’t matter. Tight end, fullback. Put me anywhere. I’m ready to go.”
The Falcons added depth to the line by signing Rees Odhiambo and Austin Pasztor during their bye week. Pasztor, who can play either tackle position, played in seven games with Atlanta in 2017. Odhiambo, who will learn the offense while playing left guard, spent the last four weeks on the Colts practice squad.
Fusco is Atlanta’s sixth player to be placed on IR this season, joining Levitre, safeties Keanu Neal and Ricardo Allen, linebacker Deion Jones and running back Devonta Freeman . Jones, who must sit out at least two more games, and Freeman could return later this season.
The bye week provided Quinn the rare opportunity to open a practice week without having to discuss a new injury. Instead, the news was positive.
Placekicker Matt Bryant, who missed the Giants game with a hamstring injury, has not been ruled out for this week. More will be known about Bryant’s status later in the week. Giorgio Tavecchio was the only placekicker on the field in the portion of Monday’s practice open to reporters.
“He’s making a turn for the better,” said Quinn of Bryant. “… The thing I was fired up about is he’s closer than he was last week by quite a bit.”
Quinn said the bye week also came at a good time for wide receivers Mohamed Sanu (hip) and Calvin Ridley (ankle). “That’s the good news,” Quinn said, adding he was “hopeful we’ll be at full strength at receiver.”
By CHARLES ODUM, AP Sports Writer