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Duke Riley, Devonta Freeman inactive against the Seahawks

The Falcons’ list of inactives is a lot more encouraging than Seattle’s.

Atlanta Falcons v Chicago Bears Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

At the end of the day, the Falcons are at least heading into tonight’s matchup with the Seattle Seahawks as the healthier football team. They’re down All-Pro caliber back Devonta Freeman and rookie linebacker Duke Riley, but otherwise their list of inactives looks more or less like it does every week. That’s a good thing, because they’re going to need a healthy squad to win tonight.

Freeman is out at least this week as he works his way through the NFL’s concussion protocol, and it’s certainly possible the hard-charging back will miss the next game against the Buccaneers, as well. Riley seems like he’s close to returning and could be in play against Tampa Bay, though he may not be returning a starting role.

Sharod Neasman is a useful special teamer and fourth safety, but he’s inactive seemingly every other week, and nobody else here is even a mild surprise.

The Seahawks, meanwhile, will trot out starting left tackle Duane Brown, which means Adrian Clayborn has a much tougher matchup than anticipated. The team will be down running back Thomas Rawls, safety Kam Chancellor, and starting left guard Luke Joeckel, which means it’s not all good news. Of course, they’re already without Richard Sherman, one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL.

The Falcons need this one to stay afloat in the NFC race, and while a loss won’t necessarily be a death knell for their playoff hopes, it’ll hurt a lot. Let’s hope the healthier team can win tonight.