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Matt Bryant (hamstring) has been cleared to return from a three-game absence and will reprise his usual duties as the Falcons' kicker, but the team apparently wants to see the veteran in a game setting again before moving on from Tavecchio. Should Bryant suffer a setback Sunday, Tavecchio would represent a good insurance policy after converting all five of his field-goal attempts and all eight of his extra-point tries while Bryant was sidelined.
Tavecchio connected on a 40-yard field-goal attempt, and succeeded on his lone point-after try during Sunday's 28-16 loss to Cleveland.
The Milan-born Tavecchio has been flawless since taking over for the injured Matt Bryant (hamstring) in Week 7, converting on all 13 of his combined attempts (5-for-5 on FGA, 8-for-8 on PATs). He's proven capable of connecting from long range -- four of his five field goals are from 40-plus yards, and two of the five from more than 50 yards out. The issue is his lack of volume, as Tavecchio's 1.7 attempts per game prohibit him from providing assured starting value on a weekly basis (Atlanta's 14 FGA as a team are tied for fifth-fewest in the NFL). If Bryant is held out again in Week 11, Tavecchio will collect his fourth start of the season against a Cowboys team that's allowed 15 FGA all season, good for 10th-fewest in the league.
Tavecchio is in line to serve as Atlanta's kicker Sunday at Cleveland, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com reports.
Matt Bryant is still recovering from a hamstring injury and doesn't seem to have shown enough progress at Thursday's practice. Tavecchio is attached to a high-powered offense and has yet to miss a kick this season, but a game in Cleveland isn't the best environment for success.
Tavecchio was five-for-five on PATs, while converting on his lone field-goal try from 27 yards out during Sunday's 38-14 win against Washington.
Tavecchio remains perfect through two games as a Falcon, sinking all four of his field-goal attempts (three of which came from 40-plus yards out), while hitting on seven-of-seven extra-point tries. If Matt Bryant (hamstring) is ruled out for a third straight game in Week 10, Tavecchio will retain his kicking duties against Cleveland, a team that allowed the fifth-most field-goal attempts coming into the weekend (19). If nothing more comes of it, the "Italian Stallion" has performed well enough in substitute duties to open up potential starting opportunities down the road.
After sitting out the Falcons' Week 7 win over the Giants with the injury, Bryant failed to show enough improvement coming out of the team's Week 8 bye to gain clearance for Sunday. As a result, Tavecchio will get a chance to build on his strong Atlanta debut versus the Giants, during which he converted both extra-point tries and all three of his field-goal attempts, including two from 50-plus yards. Though he'll be buoyed by an offense that ranks seventh in the NFL with 401 yards per game this season, Tavecchio's opportunities may be more limited than they were in Week 7 while Atlanta matches up with a stout Washington defense that has yielded just 19.1 points and one field goal attempt per contest.
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|17||12/30/18||@ TB||1:00 pm|