Falcons keep three QBs on 53-man roster

One of the interesting aspects to emerge from the Atlanta Falcons' trimming of the roster to 53 was how many quarterbacks were left in the mix.

It turned out to be three.

Along with starter Matt Ryan, both T.J. Yates and Sean Renfree were part of the 53-man roster established on Saturday. Yates and Renfree battled for the backup role this preseason, and coach Mike Smith refused to declare a winner.

The Falcons obviously felt it would have been too risky to waive Renfree with hopes of adding him to the practice squad. Renfree seemed to have the edge for the backup role until Yates caught fire in the final exhibition game at Jacksonville. Yates completed 15 of 20 passes for 243 yards and two touchdowns in the Falcons' 24-14 win.

Yates seems likely to get the first opportunity if something happens to Ryan, just based on veteran experience. He has a playoff win under his belt while in Houston and has played in 13 regular-season games with five starts.

The Falcons traded linebacker Akeem Dent to the Texans in exchange for Yates.

Renfree, a seventh-round draft pick out of Duke in 2013, spent last season on injured reserve.

Last year, the Falcons went with just two quarterbacks in Ryan and Dominique Davis, who was released. Davis played in just one game in 2013.