Former Penn football quarterback Alek Torgersen saw his first NFL action on August 10, stepping in under center for the Atlanta Falcons in a preseason Thursday night game against the Miami Dolphins.
Torgersen, who won two Ivy League Championships for the Red and Blue before graduating this past May, completed his first NFL pass shortly into the fourth quarter — a short dump to fellow rookie Eric Saubert that netted a one-yard loss. In the same drive, which ultimately ended in a punt, Torgersen scrambled for 14- and 3-yard runs.
In the Falcons' 23-20 loss, Torgersen completed all five of his pass attempts for 19 yards and was sacked once. Starting Falcons QB and reigning NFL MVP Matt Ryan saw limited action, as did backup QB Matt Schaub. Matt Simms, who is currently listed as the Falcon's third-string quarterback, saw the most action at the helm of Atlanta's offense, going 10-20 for 104 yards.
Unfortunately for Torgersen, things didn't get much better in the Falcons' next outing against the Pittsburgh Steelers on August 20. Torgersen threw his first NFL career interception and finished 2-8 for only 25 yards.
Once again, Simms continued to hold most of the playing time, going 15-29 for 197 yards with an interception. Ryan finished 4/6 for 57 yards with limited touches and Schaub came off the bench to complete his only passing attempt of the game.
Torgersen is one of only four former Penn players — including Detroit Lions outside linebacker Brandon Copeland, Oakland Raiders tight end Ryan O'Malley and Panthers center Greg Van Roten — on an NFL roster right now.
Torgersen's struggles and Simms' high number of reps is not a great sign for Torgersen, who signed with the Falcons after going undrafted in the 2017 NFL Draft. His next opportunity for on-field action will come on August 26, when the Falcons square off against the Arizona Cardinals.