|Ht / Wt:||6'3" / 218 lb.|
|Born:||July 17, 1995|
|Drafted:||2018 / UDFA|
Benkert (toe) has received clearance to resume participating in football drills, Kelsey Kramer of Heavy.com reports.
Analysis: Benkert missed the entire 2019 regular season after sustaining a significant toe injury during the Falcons' preseason opener against Denver, during which he put together a solid performance (completing 19 of 34 passes for 185 yards and a score). General manager Thomas Dimitroff said earlier in the offseason that he expects Benkert to compete with Matt Schaub and Danny Etling for the backup quarterback job in 2020, though the possibility of Atlanta drafting additional competition also can't be ruled out.
General manager Thomas Dimitroff stated Tuesday that he expects Benkert to compete for the backup quarterback job in 2020, Kelsey Conway of the Falcons' official site reports.
Analysis: Dimitroff exuded optimistic about both Benkert and Danny Etling on Tuesday, and mentioned that they each will "battle for that second or third spot." Benkert made a positive impression during his lone preseason appearance of 2019, throwing for 185 yards and one touchdown while committing zero turnovers against the Broncos on Aug. 1. Dimitroff did not necessarily rule out the possibility of Atlanta acquiring a QB via the draft, but Benkert has his name firmly planted on the GM's radar heading into the new league year.
Benkert (toe) suffered an injury during Atlanta's exhibition opener against Denver, and he did not end up making another appearance during his second NFL season out of Virginia.
Analysis: The 24-year-old signal-caller put forth an encouraging season debut by completing 19 of 34 passes for 185 yards and a touchdown during the Hall of Fame Game on Aug. 1, but unfortunately he lost the rest of 2019 due to what NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported to be a "major" toe injury. Granted, Benkert had a limited body of work in 2019, but he vastly improved upon the 43.8 percent completion rate and 0:4 TD:INT stat line he established during the 2018 preseason. Still yet to appear in a regular-season contest, Benkert remains under contract with the Falcons for one more year at a cap hit of $510,000.
Benkert (toe) was placed placed on injured reserve by the Falcons on Tuesday, Will McFadden of the team's official site reports.
Analysis: Benkert suffered a major toe injury during Thursday's preseason opener, and will have to sit out at least the first eight games of the season with the placement on IR. The team signed Matt Simms on Saturday to back up Matt Ryan and Matt Schaub, confirming the serious injury for Benkert. The Virginia product will likely be stashed on the IR as long as he's out, in order for the Falcons to keep him on the roster.
Benkert suffered a "major" toe injury during Thursday's preseason opener against the Broncos, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
Analysis: The Falcons signed Matt Simms on Saturday which seems to reinforce the notion Benkert's injury is serious. The 2018 undrafted free agent was pushing Matt Schaub for the backup role behind Matt Ryan, but it seems likely this news will put a damper on that possibility. Don't be surprised if the Falcons do eventually place Benkert on injured reserve in order to stash the young quarterback.
Benkert completed 19-of-34 passes for 185 yards and a touchdown in Thursday's preseason opener versus the Broncos, however he suffered a toe injury in the fourth quarter and will not return, William McFadden of the Falcons' official site reports.
Analysis: The Falcons opted to rest Matt Ryan for the exhibition contest, which resulted in a healthy workload for Benkert. He currently sits behind Matt Shaub as the No. 3 quarterback on the depth chart, so the Falcons likely wanted to see what he could do with the opportunity. Shaub came in to close out the game following his injury.
Benkert signed a reserve/future contract with the Falcons on Monday.
Analysis: Benkert went undrafted out of Virginia last April and spent the entirety of the 2018 on Atlanta's practice squad. Veteran Matt Schaub is set to hit free agency in 2019, currently leaving the backup quarterback job behind starter Matt Ryan up in the air.
Benkert was announced as one of the Falcons' 10 practice squad members on Sunday, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com reports.
Analysis: The undrafted rookie's stat line during the preseason was far from impressive (43.8 completion percentage, zero touchdowns and four interceptions), but he possesses the intangibles personality-wise to be a valuable development backup for the Falcons. Though Benkert struggled with throwing accuracy during his first summer in an NFL camp, the Falcons see him as a potential replacement for Matt Schaub as the team's future No. 2 quarterback. If Benkert is able to develop into a serviceable option over the next 12 months, he would provide Atlanta with a younger and more affordable option at the position in comparison to Schaub.
Benkert completed 10-of-25 attempts for 103 passing yards and two interceptions in Thursday's 34-7 loss to the Dolphins.
Analysis: Though he's turned heads with a number of throws in practice throughout the summer, Benkert left much to be desired in his first preseason as a whole. Following a promising debut in which he completed nine-of-17 attempts for 125 yards, the Virginia standout has completed just 43.8 percent of his throws for less than five yards per attempt in the three outings since.
Benkert is expected to receive a heavy workload during Atlanta's preseason finale Thursday against Miami, D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
Analysis: Benkert finds himself in the midst of a heated quarterback battle with Garrett Grayson for a potential reserve spot. There's no guarantee the Falcons opt to take three quarterbacks into the regular season, but if they do the team's fourth preseason contest could yield tremendous weight. Benkert, is considered to be trailing veteran backup Matt Schaub for the No. 2 spot, but a strong finish to the preseason has to power to sway the Falcons brass.
Benkert said Monday that his main focus for the Falcons' upcoming preseason game against Kansas City will be to trust his pre-snap reads, D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. "(I'm working on) just cleaning up what I see. Trusting the pre-snap that all my reads are there and then going through them and taking my time and not rushing," Benkert explained after a training camp session at Flowery Branch. "Trying to go through the full progression and get the ball in guys' hands."
Analysis: The undrafted quarterback out of Virginia held his own during Atlanta's preseason opener against the Jets last Friday, completing nine-of-17 attempts for 125 yards with one interception off a batted ball during the fourth quarter. Benkert showed during his collegiate career that he has the ability to light up a box score, setting a school record with 455 yards in an early-season tilt against UCONN last year. That trend continued into his professional debut as Benkert connected on a number of deep balls, including a 27-yard pass to Dontez Byrd on his first attempt of the night, as well as completions of 23 and 30 yards to Devin Gray later in the game. Head coach Dan Quinn is beginning to take notice, saying Monday that he keeps seeing the arrow going up for Benkert -- "I always like that he has a good deep ball."
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