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Marcus Mariota Leaves Falcons After Benching

Atlanta Falcons QB Marcus Mariota has stepped away from the team and there some uncertainty on when he will be back, if ever, as per The Athletic.

Head Coach Arthur Smith revealed today that Mariota has left the team to have his “chronic” knee issue evaluated. Mariota’s knee “is nothing that has been an issue this season, but that’s (his) prerogative so … ” Smith clarified on Tuesday.

Mariota, who signed a two-year deal with the Falcons this offseason, started the first 13 games of the season. He threw for 167 yards, a touchdown and an interception in last Sunday’s loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. At 5-8, Atlanta has a slim chance of making the playoffs, prompting the switch to rookie Desmond Ridder during the team’s bye last week.

Marcus Mariota #1 and Desmond Ridder #4 of the Atlanta Falcons. Photo courtsey of Justin Casterline/Getty Images

Mariota is completing 61.3 percent of his passes for 2,219 yards, 15 touchdowns, and nine interceptions. He’s also added 438 yards and four touchdowns on the ground. 

The Falcons travel to New Orleans this weekend for a divisional matchup against their rival, the Saints.

Atlanta Falcons QB Marcus Mariota. Photo courtsey of AP Photo/John Amis

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