Robert Alford was at practice on Friday, but he wasn’t wearing a helmet and wasn’t running. The natural assumption is that without practice on Friday, Alford won’t suit up Sunday, and all signs point to that outcome.
Vaughn McClure at ESPN reports on Twitter that Alford will be out out for Sunday, and appends an ominous note to that.
Robert Alford can’t run at all. Will be interesting to see how long he’s out. Falcons confident in rookie Isaiah Oliver— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) November 2, 2018
We have no idea what happened to Alford—was he injured against the Giants? did he get injured over the bye week?—but we do know that’s not a great sign for his availability at the moment. Oliver is going to get a relatively favorable stretch of matchups coming up, with receiver-needy Washington and Cleveland looming before the Falcons have to host the Dallas Cowboys and new addition Amari Cooper, but has also looked like a rookie when he’s had the opportunity to play. This will be his first chance in a while to get extended playing time and push for a larger role down the stretch, and we’ll hope for his sake and the sake of this Falcons defense that he’s able to capitalize on it.
As for Alford, we’ll hope that this is a relatively minor deal and he’s back on the field soon. That Giants game was brutally bad, but Alford is still a necessary piece of the puzzle on a depleted Falcons defense, especially if he can put this recent rough stretch behind him.
More injury updates to come, I’m sure, including the team’s official word on Alford.