The Atlanta Falcons confirmed Monday that former University of Cincinnati Bearcats standout quarterback Desmond Ridder is expected to replace Marcus Mariota and start their Week 15 game against the Saints in New Orleans.
Falcons head coach Arthur Smith told reporters Monday that Ridder is scheduled to start Sunday, and Mariota likely will be placed on injured reserve.
Ridder, a third-round pick of the Falcons in the 2022 NFL Draft, will make his National Football League regular-season debut when he plays.
The rookie from UC impressed for the Falcons against the New York Jets during a Monday Night Football preseason game, completing 10 of his 13 attempts for 143 passing yards while helping his team to a 16-3 halftime lead.
In the Falcons' first preseason game, Ridder threw the game-winning touchdown pass in a win against Detroit.
Mariota has started all 13 games this season - his first in Atlanta. He has 2,219 passing yards with 15 touchdowns and nine interceptions in his eighth NFL season. Mariota was 13-of-24 for 167 passing yards with a touchdown and an interception in the Falcons' 19-16 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 13.
Ridder starred for the Bearcats for four seasons and helped UC to its first-ever College Football Playoff appearance last year.
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This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Desmond Ridder to start Atlanta Falcons' next game at quarterback