AJ McCarron

Atlanta Falcons
Quarterback #5
Atlanta Falcons
Quarterback #5

AJ McCarron News

Tries out with Cleveland

The Browns worked out McCarron for a potential backup role in the team's uncertain quarterback depth chart, Chris Easterling of the Akron Beacon Journal reports.

Analysis: McCarron was brought in to work out along with Josh Rosen as Cleveland looks to add insurance behind backup quarterbacks Jacoby Brissett and Joshua Dobbs. Presumptive starter Deshaun Watson is still awaiting a decision in regards to a potential suspension for violations of the NFL's personal conduct policy, so the Browns will want to add as many capable options at signal-caller as possible in the meantime. McCarron could provide just that as he is fully recovered from a torn ACL that forced him to miss the entirety of the 2021 campaign. The 31-year-old journeyman appeared in 17 regular-season games with four starts over the first six years of his career, and he last saw meaningful playing time in Week 17 of the 2019 season with Houston.

Jul 21, 2022 11:47 AM EST

Healthy and looking for NFL job

McCarron (knee) said Monday that he feels great and is "waiting for a call" to return to an NFL roster, Mark Inabinett of AL.com reports.

Analysis: McCarron signed with the Falcons last offseason to serve as the backup to Matt Ryan, but the former Alabama quarterback suffered a torn ACL during a preseason game and missed the entire campaign. Now a free agent, McCarron is looking to return to an NFL roster, but it's unclear if he'll get an opportunity in 2022. "You never know what the future holds," McCarron said. "I'm just ready, waiting for a call. But right now, I'm enjoying my time off and being able to be a dad for the first time in a while."

Jun 28, 2022 9:34 AM EST

Heading to injured reserve

Coach Arthur Smith said Monday that McCarron (knee) will be placed on injured reserve, Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com reports.

Analysis: McCarron suffered a torn ACL during Saturday's preseason matchup with the Dolphins, so it was only a matter of time before he moved to injured reserve. The Falcons may now look to bring aboard an experienced backup since UDFA rookie Felipe Franks is the only healthy quarterback on the roster behind starter Matt Ryan.

Aug 23, 2021 3:51 PM EST

Out for season

McCarron suffered a torn ACL in Saturday's preseason game against the Dolphins and is out for the season, D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Analysis: McCarron suffered a non-contact injury during the game and the team was pessimistic regarding the potential diagnosis after the game. An MRI Sunday confirmed the bad news and the veteran backup will now be sidelined until 2022. Feleipe Franks is the only healthy quarterback on the roster aside from Matt Ryan, so the team may be in the market for a more experienced backup.

Aug 22, 2021 4:49 PM EST

Headed for MRI

Falcons head coach Arthur Smith said McCarron would require an MRI after suffering a right knee injury in Saturday's 37-17 preseason loss to the Dolphins, Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com reports.

Analysis: Atlanta won't provide an update on the extent of McCarron's injury until the results of his MRI are available, but Smith wasn't encouraged by the quarterback's initial prognosis after picking up the non-contact injury while exchanging a handoff with running back Qadree Ollison in the second quarter. If McCarron is sidelined to begin the season, undrafted rookie Feleipe Franks would be the next man up on the depth chart behind starting QB Matt Ryan.

Aug 22, 2021 6:42 AM EST

Suffers right knee injury

McCarron suffered a right knee injury and will not return to Saturday's preseason game against the Dolphins, David Furones of the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports.

Analysis: McCarron walked slowly to the sideline after the injury and immediately into the medical tent. He was quickly ruled out of the game, with Feleipe Franks taking over under center in his place. Prior to his exit McCarron had completed three of his six pass attempts for 43 yards.

Aug 21, 2021 5:18 PM EST

Set to start Saturday

McCarron will start Saturday's preseason contest against the Dolphins, D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Analysis: The Falcons are expected to rest most of their starters, leaving McCarron to operate as the top signal caller with the rest of the second-string unit. The veteran backup struggled mightily in the preseason opener, completing just five of his 12 attempts for 36 yards and a pick.

Aug 21, 2021 3:04 PM EST

Backing up Matt Ryan

McCarron is signing a one-year deal with the Falcons, NFL reporter Aaron Wilson reports.

Analysis: Ian Rapoport of NFL Network believes it's a sign that the Falcons aren't likely to selected a quarterback in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft. The team already passed on that opportunity in the first round, selecting TE Kyle Pitts at No. 4 overall. McCarron has thrown for only 1,173 yards and six touchdowns in the NFL, but he'll definitely have talent to work with if he gets on the field in Atlanta, home of Pitts, Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley, in addition to 35-year-old QB Matt Ryan.

Apr 30, 2021 1:35 PM EST

Barely any action in 2020

McCarron only handled one offensive snap while appearing in two games for the Texans in 2020.

Analysis: McCarron did get a chance to throw the ball on his only play of the season, a pass which he completed for a gain of 20 yards. The 30-year-old signal-caller is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason, but he shouldn't have any difficulty finding another backup role.

Jan 21, 2021 2:13 PM EST

Fills in for one play

McCarron replaced quarterback Deshaun Watson for one play in Sunday's 36-7 loss to the Bears.

Analysis: Watson was removed from the game after taking a hit on the elbow. McCarron entered on a fourth down and was sacked in his only play. Watson returned for Houston's next offensive series.

Dec 14, 2020 5:40 AM EST

Ready for Sunday's contest

McCarron will back up Deshaun Watson in Sunday's game against the Bears.

Analysis: McCarron missed the final practice of the week for non-injury related reasons, but he's good to go Sunday. Josh McCown (coach's decision) is inactive, leaving McCarron and Watson as the Texans' lone quarterbacks.

Dec 13, 2020 8:40 AM EST

Sticking in Houston

McCarron announced via his personal Instagram Monday that he and the Texans have agreed to terms on a contract.

Analysis: McCarron will return to the Texans for the second straight season, as he's provided a nice insurance policy behind Deshaun Watson. McCarron appeared in two games last season, completing 21 of 37 passes for 225 yards and an interception. Barring any additions to the quarterback room, the 29-year-old will likely operate as the team's backup again in 2020.

Mar 16, 2020 6:29 PM EST

Lacks explosiveness in spot start

McCarron completed 21 of 36 passes for 225 yards and an interception in the team's Week 17 loss to the Titans. He also added five rushed for 39 yards and a score.

Analysis: McCarron led the team on an impressive opening drive that resulted in a touchdown, completing four of seven passes for 49 yards. However, he was only able to orchestrate one more scoring drive, capping off 16 play, 75-yard drive with a one-yard rushing touchdown late in the third quarter. McCarron is set to be a free agent at the conclusion of the season, and should find a role as a backup, whether in Houston or elsewhere.

Dec 29, 2019 6:02 PM EST

On tap for Week 17 start

McCarron is expected to serve as the Texans' starting quarterback Sunday against the Titans, Dianna Russini of ESPN reports.

Analysis: The Texans can still move up from the No. 4 seed in the AFC postseason to the No. 3 seed, but only with a win and a Kansas City loss. Considering the Chiefs are heavy home favorites over the Chargers and are kicking off at 1 p.m. ET, there's a good chance the Texans will be locked into the No. 4 position before their game kicks off at 4:25 p.m. ET. With that in mind, coach Bill O'Brien apparently isn't inclined to take any chances with Deshaun Watson (back) in the regular-season finale, as the star quarterback will be ticketed for backup duties. McCarron is thus on track to see the field for just the second time this season for what will be his first start since 2015, when he was with the Bengals. The Alabama product will have to make do with a depleted receiving corps, as Will Fuller (groin) has been ruled out, while Russini notes that DeAndre Hopkins (illness) will be active but isn't expected to play much. Kenny Stills (knee) is also questionable for Week 17 and could be limited if he's active.

Dec 29, 2019 5:47 AM EST

Makes season debut in blowout

McCarron went 0-for-1 and was sacked in Sunday's 41-7 loss to the Ravens.

Analysis: McCarron's mop up of Sunday's blowout loss was his season debut. Starter Deshaun Watson, who was sacked six times and absorbed 10 quarterback hits, had not been knocked around like this since a Week 4 loss to the Panthers. So, to avoid any risk of injury, McCarron made his first appearance in a Texans uniform.

Nov 18, 2019 4:10 AM EST

Ready to rock

McCarron (thumb) is not listed on Thursday's injury report.

Analysis: McCarron broke his right thumb in joint practices prior to the beginning of the preseason. Now back to full health, the former Bengal will resume his role as the primary backup to Deshaun Watson in Houston.

Sep 5, 2019 2:11 PM EST

Expected for Week 1

McCarron (thumb) is expected to be on the active roster for Week 1 against the Saints, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports.

Analysis: The Texans ran into some quarterback depth trouble during preseason Week 4 when Joe Webb (foot) went down with a significant injury while McCarron dealt with a three-week thumb injury. They currently carry two healthy quarterbacks entering the regular season but could be on the lookout for depth just in case.

Sep 2, 2019 12:51 PM EST

Out of cast, throwing

McCarron (thumb) had the cast removed from his hand and threw during warmups prior to Thursday's preseason finale against the Rams, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports.

Analysis: McCarron dressed for the game but, as expected, did not play. This is a positive sign for the Texans, who lost No. 3 quarterback to a serious foot injury Thursday. He appears on track for Week 1 against the Saints after he broke his right thumb during joint practice sessions against the Packers on Aug. 6.

Aug 30, 2019 6:15 AM EST

On track for regular season

McCarron (thumb) is on track to be ready by Week 1 according to head coach Bill O'Brien, Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle reports.

Analysis: McCarron has missed the past two preseason contests due to undisclosed thumb injury and it now seems likely that he will miss a third. If that is the case, look for Joe Webb or Jordan Ta'amu to a majority of the reps against the Rams. However, it is reassuring for the to have McCarron ready for the beginning the regular season.

Aug 26, 2019 10:09 PM EST

Could miss preseason

McCarron (thumb) could remain sidelined the entire preseason, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports.

Analysis: McCarron sustained a thumb injury during Tuesday's practice, the severity of which will cause him to sit out Thursday's preseason tilt against the Packers and possibly the remainder of Houston's preseason contests. Third-string quarterback Joe Webb is a prime candidate to see increased preseason action while McCarron remains sidelined, and the Texans could opt to sign another quarterback to the roster.

Aug 7, 2019 9:28 AM EST

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