ATLANTA — Atlanta Falcons rookie Jonathan Massaquoi was hoping to come into the NFL and earn some playing time right away.
The Central Gwinnett grad has found it harder to get on the field than he imagined. Massaquoi wasn't able to play in front of his hometown in Monday night's game against the Denver Broncos.
He was one of seven Falcons put on the inactive list before Monday's 27-21 victory over the Broncos.
"It's no rush. When my time is coming, it's coming," Massaquoi said. "I just know I'm going to give it my all when I'm out there."
Massaquoit was also inactive for the Falcons' season opening 40-24 win over Kansas City in Week 1.
"Oh yeah, definitely (I thought I'd be on the field by now)," Massaquoi said. "It's everybody's aspiration to be on the field, especially the first home game. However, I have to continue to mature as a player and be ready for when my number is called so I can raise up to the occasion."
The 6-foot-2, 265-pound Massaquoi is listed as the third-string left defensive end behind Ray Edwards and Kroy Biermann.
"Those guys are veterans. They are warriors of the game," Massaquoi said. "Right now I'm just a buck in the stable, so for me to be behind those guys and see how they practice week in and week out and how the perform on game day, that just preps me more mentally to get ready for me when time comes."
Massaquoi was a fifth-round pick by the Falcons out of Troy University where he registered 19.5 sacks over two seasons. He was considered by many as a steal in the draft with his versatility along the defensive line. Massaquoi hopes he can show off his athleticism this year for the Falcons.
"Right now it's just a matter of a waiting game," Massaquoi said. "I'm just working hard everyday on my craft and being a team player, observer and learning as a young man in this game hoping to make my mark when my time is called."