Garland has played in 30 games for Atlanta over the past two seasons, starting seven of them. However, it seems he wasn't deemed to be a fit in new offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter's offensive system. Garland will thus become an unrestricted free agent March 13.
Garland (back) was a full go for Thursday's practice after being limited during Wednesday's session, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com reports.
Garland appears on track to be active Sunday against Arizona, but he's been benched in favor of Zane Beadles over the past two weeks due to ineffective play. The offensive line has struggled to open up running lanes all season (81.2 rushing yards per game rank 32nd), with Garland himself being identified by the coaching staff as an unstable option at right guard filling in for the injured Brandon Fusco. He'll likely serve as a backup again in Week 15 when the Falcons face a Cardinals defense that ranks tied for 30th in defending the run, with 139.5 yards surrendered per game.
Garland appears to be Atlanta's fill-in option at right guard for the injured Brandon Fusco (ankle) moving forward, D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
With Fusco heading to the inured reserve due to a broken ankle suffered during a Week 7 win over the Giants, Garland is poised for a half-season audition as a member of Atlanta's starting offensive line. The 30-year-old Air Force alum has appeared in 45 games over the course of his career, logging three starts (all three came last year, filling in for an injured Andy Levitre (triceps)). Garland joins a Falcons offensive line that's performed fairly well in pass protection this season (17th with 20 sacks allowed), but has struggled to pave the way for running backs Tevin Coleman and Ito Smith (averaging just 83.3 yards per game rushing).
Garland (calf) did not participate in practice Thursday, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com reports.
Atlanta's backup left guard has been dealing with a strained calf for upwards of four weeks, and it remains to be revealed exactly when he is expected to be activated. With starter Andy Levitre (elbow) announced as a limited participant in Thursday's practice, the Falcons find themselves stretched thin on the interior offensive line.
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