FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Atlanta Falcons starting right tackle Ryan Schraeder, who suffered a concussion during Sunday night's 34-23 win over Green Bay, has been ruled out for Sunday's matchup with the Detroit Lions.
Former Denver Broncos tackle Ty Sambrailo, traded to the Falcons on Sept. 1 in exchange for a fifth-round draft pick, will start in place of Schraeder. It will be Sambrailo's eighth career start in three NFL seasons. Sambrailo, a 2015 second-round pick, will face quite a challenge against Ziggy Ansah and the rest of the Lions' defensive line.
Sambrailo said he is ready for the challenge.
"Just the way we prepare here, we get a lot of game-speed reps throughout the week to help you feel confident in your technique and in executing the schemes we're running,'' Sambrailo said. "It's next man up. It's always been like that, especially in this league. I had a good feeling I was going to be starting this week, and I'm ready to roll.''
Falcons coach Dan Quinn expressed confidence in Sambrailo stepping in for Schraeder.
"I thought a faster speed,'' Quinn said of what he saw from Sambrailo throughout the week. "I'm sure that comes with more confidence in the plan, more reps with the first group, more reps with Matt [Ryan]. So I felt like his quickness off the ball, that's definitely a part of his game in the run game. I thought he had a nice week in terms of preparation. You could feel the communication up and down the line, the combination blocks with the tight ends, the combination blocks with the guards. That's a big part of what we do in the run game. And he's really done a good job.''
Quinn said he hopes Schraeder is fully cleared to return by Wednesday, leading into a Week 4 home matchup with the Buffalo Bills.
Quinn previously ruled out reigning NFL sack champ Vic Beasley Jr. and defensive lineman Courtney Upshaw earlier in the week with hamstring and ankle injuries, respectively. Beasley was spotted walking around the locker room Friday and appeared to be in good spirits without and noticeable limp or protection on his legs. He could be sidelined a month, though Quinn refused to put a timetable on the injury.
Without Beasley, the Falcons will rely on rookie Takkarist McKinley to step into the primary role at left edge rusher in the nickel package. Defensive tackle Joe Vellano was promoted from the practice squad to provide depth with Upshaw sidelined.
Running back Terron Ward, who suffered a neck/shoulder contusion, also was ruled out for Sunday's game. Quinn said rookie fifth-round pick Brian Hill, who missed the first two games while recovering from an ankle injury, is expected to have a role as the third running back behind Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman. Hill also could show up on special teams, with Ward playing a significant role on special teams.