These ramshackle Falcons lost another starter on Tuesday, this time with Devonta Freeman heading to injured reserve. At this point the IR list looks like a menu at The Cheesecake Factory, but nevertheless the Atlanta Falcons are 2-4 and looking to claw closer to even with a Monday night clash against the New York Giants. Here’s Wednesday’s Falcoholinks to get your day started.
Devonta heads to IR
This development was a bit less shocking than the small army of other Falcons that hit injured reserve, only for the fact that Devonta has been hurt for the majority of the season. He was held out of the Tampa Bay game due to a foot contusion and a groin injury, and the team announced today that he would join the gathering on IR. ESPN’s Vaughn McClure reports that Devonta was initially planning to put off a recommended surgery, but has opted to go under the knife and potentially return by December 23.
Devonta Freeman had an MRI of his groin a couple days after the Pittsburgh game. The MRI was sent to a specialist in Philadelphia, who said he needed surgery. There was some discussions about Freeman waiting until after the season to have the surgery... https://t.co/szdvSWtlgj— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) October 16, 2018
The upshot (and silver lining) here is that both Tevin Coleman and Ito Smith have performed admirably in Devonta Freeman’s stead, so they will continue to see the bulk of the work going forward. We wish Devonta the best through surgery and during his recovery, and hope he’s back on the field in short order.
Kicking the tires
Upon word that Matt Bryant would miss some time with a hamstring strain, the initial question was: Who fills in at kicker? We received that answer today, as the Falcons signed former Raider Giorgio Tavecchio. Tavecchio was recently with the Falcons for their final preseason game, but only logged an extra point.
Welcome to Atlanta, Giorgio. Forgive me for hoping Matt Bryant is back as soon as possible.
Fake football, real money (allegedly)
With their stockpile of offensive playmakers, the Falcons are always popular on the fantasy front. Our Adnan Ikic has been keeping you apprised of all the Atlanta-centric numbers with his Fantasy Stud & Dud column. Lament that you started the Falcons’ defense because you’re hopelessly bad at this, or continue to drool over the points Matt Ryan puts up week after week.
Austin Hooper’s ascension
Austin Hooper was much maligned in 2017. At one point I believe I said he had moonshoes for hands. But this season is different — dare I say, it’s what we expected last year. Hooper is scoring touchdowns at an impressive clip, generating solid separation, and making sure he hauls in his targets.
Sticking with Adnan here, who has an illuminating breakdown of Austin Hooper’s rise in the Falcons’ offense and the statistical underpinnings that put numbers to the plays. The Falcons haven’t had a surefire tight end scoring threat since Tony Gonzalez, so albeit delayed, watching Hooper make the leap has been one of this season’s bright spots.