The Falcons schedule was released on Thursday evening and one thing that immediately stood out was how late the Falcons bye week was and what it means for the team in the midst of a difficult schedule.
Bye weeks in the NFL run from Week 6 to Week 14, and the Falcons, along with 5 others teams don't have theirs until Week 14.
In the past, it seems most teams prefer to wait until AFTER a bye week to insert a new rookie QB, giving the inexperienced signal-caller an extra week of game planning and first-team reps to get comfortable, but a Week 14 bye might prevent that being the path the Falcons choose..
Certainly if the Falcons want to get a good look at QB Desmond Ridder this season, it may take more than just 4 games, and that's all they would have if they wait until after the bye week to use him.
The most obvious situation if Arthur Smith does decide to give Ridder a shot, would be to take the half-bye after the Week 10 game against the Carolina Panthers on Thursday Night Football and use that extra time to get Ridder ready.
Unless Marcus Mariota shocks the league as has the Falcons in playoff contention midway through the season or gets hurt, Week 11 could see the first start of Desmond Ridder's Falcons career.