Following a soggy Thursday affair where some of the footballs Matt Ryan threw seemed to be wrapped in a diving belt, we turn our already weathered gaze to the Carolina Panthers. I was prepared to burn some digital sage in today’s Falcoholinks to cleanse any lingering negative energy from Philadelphia, but the Falcons seem to have disgraced the football gods ahead of Sunday’s tilt. Let’s dive in and try not to hit our heads on the bottom.
Deion Jones headed to IR
I’m not sure you can call it an injury bug at this point. More of an injury succubus that has latched onto the Atlanta Falcons like some ancient pestilence. It continued its relentless feast on the Falcons Tuesday afternoon, as word emerged that Deion Jones would miss at least eight weeks with a foot injury.
Getting a lot of questions about when Deion Jones can return. Per the IR designation, Deion will be out for at least 8 weeks. If he's healthy and able to return, the first game he would be eligible to play in is game 10 on Nov. 18 against the Cowboys. #Falcons— Kelsey Conway (@FalconsKelsey) September 11, 2018
The team is already dealing with the loss of strong safety Keanu Neal, so now they will attempt to mitigate the loss of middle linebacker Deion Jones. That means they will look to Duke Riley to fill the void. Get healthy soon, Deion.
Greg Olsen out, Panthers missing top playmaker
Carolina Panthers TE Greg Olsen is still one of the top receiving tight ends in the NFL, and it was reported today that he would not be suiting up in Atlanta, or for the foreseeable future.
Panthers announced TE Greg Olsen re-fractured his right foot against Dallas. There are no plans for surgery at this time. Olsen hopes to be able to play again this season.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 11, 2018
Olsen left Sunday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys and would not return, later spotted on the sideline in a walking boot and crutches. What Carolina feared has come to pass, as he indeed fractured the same foot that cost him significant time last season.
The Panthers are already missing key starters on the offensive line as well, and Daryl Williams will be another one of those to miss Sunday’s game. He was carted off against Dallas, and will undergo surgery on his knee.
We always like to beat the Carolina Panthers when they’re at full strength, so we of course wish both players well in their respective recoveries.
Brian Hill promoted, questions remain for Devonta Freeman
The Atlanta Falcons reacquired running back Brian Hill in a scenario that played out like an NFL-centric version of something Larry David would produce, but now the former fifth-round pick has been promoted to the active roster. The Falcoholic’s Jeanna Thomas had the scoop, and now the immediate question is: what’s up with Devonta Freeman?
Freeman left Thursday’s game with a knee injury, but he stated that he was “fine” after its conclusion. Hill’s promotion potentially tosses some cold water on that assertion, and we’ll await word from the team as to Freeman’s status going forward.
Finding meaning in the mess
There were bright spots in Thursday’s loss to the Eagles, and as we allowed the fog of defeat to dissipate they presented themselves more clearly. Our Eric Robinson elucidated the lessons from the loss, highlighting the positives on this incarnation of the Atlanta Falcons.
Eric emphasizes that they can truly hang with any team in the league, but it boils down to harnessing potential, establishing offensive equilibrium with play-calling and execution, and not blasting one’s own cleats with buckshot.
The Falcoholic Week 1 Post-game Podcast
Post-game podcast skipper Cory Woodroof was joined by Adnan Ikic to dissect what we saw on the field. The Falcons-Eagles debrief included looks forward to Sunday and beyond, and what Week 1 meant for the team going forward. Give ‘er a listen, here.