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Adrian Clayborn, Andy Levitre miss Thursday’s practice

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The team’s leading sack artist and starting left guard could both miss this game.

New Orleans Saints v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Tevin Coleman remains in the NFL’s concussion protocol, and may well be out for Monday night’s game against the Buccaneers. That’s not surprising at all, but we did get two unpleasant surprises in Thursday’s injury report.

The first was the news that Andy Levitre may miss the rest of the season as he recovers, which is unwelcome news indeed. Ben Garland filled in admirably against the Saints, but had some struggles in pass protection, and is not Andy Levitre. The Falcons will be hard-pressed to not endure a few struggles along the way with Garland at left guard, though I’m hopeful Garland will prove to be a more than worthy fill-in.

Clayborn is just a surprise, period. The team’s leading sack artist in 2017 and a quietly terrific player, Clay is one of the team’s three best defensive ends this year, and his absence would be a net positive for the Buccaneers. That said, the Falcons can bring Vic Beasley, Takk McKinley, Derrick Shelby, and Brooks Reed to bear against Tampa Bay, so it’s not like it’ll be smooth sailing.

At this point, expect all three of these players to miss the game, with Coleman remaining the most likely to return by Monday. It’s not an ideal situation, but hopefully the Falcons will have enough to beat a Buccaneers team down Gerald McCoy.