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Falcoholinks: All the Falcons news you need for Friday, Sept. 13

Russell Gage returns to practice, John Abraham is a Hall of Fame nominee, and much more.

Atlanta Falcons v Minnesota Vikings Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

We’re closing in on Sunday night, and that means we need to start asking the big questions and considering the matchup ahead. Fortunately for you, we started that yesterday, and we have a heaping platter of links for your consumption. Tuck in!

Russell returns

I dunno about you guys, but watching Russell Gage leaping around trying to make insanely acrobatic catches was one of the few highlights of Sunday for me. Seeing him get injured on a cheap shot was pretty galling.

Fortunately, Gage is on his way back, re-joining practice on Thursday. While I doubt he’ll be ready to go in time for the Eagles game, he ought to return and make an impact soon enough, and it’s fair to be legitimately excited about the young receiver’s potential.

The only other major note from the injury report? Kenjon Barner’s suddenly looking iffy, which would potentially leave us with Ito Smith on kick returns and Justin Hardy on punt returns if he can’t go. Be healthy, sir.

Is Isaiah Oliver up to the task?

Isaiah Oliver was mostly a very popular draft selection in 2018, given the physical tools at his disposal and the average fan’s growing dissatisfaction with Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford. Fast forward a year and we’re already worried about his start to the season.

Allen Strk took the time to break down Oliver’s performance yesterday and came away pretty discouraged. Adam Thielen is a tough matchup, but Oliver seemed overmatched and scuffled in run support as well, raising uncomfortable questions about his readiness that he’ll hope to answer resoundingly in Week 2.

Gearing up for the Eagles

Regardless of how poorly last game went, there are more to be played, started with the Eagles in Week 2. Some of us, like gentle soul and poet-philosopher James Rael, were actually feeling pretty optimistic about what’s ahead. Others like gentle soul and poet-philosopher Cory Woodroof are wondering whether the Falcons can stop a very good corps of Eagles receivers, especially speedy DeSean Jackson. We looked at the stats, the Falcons offense versus the Eagles defense, and made our picks for the week.

I even went right to the source, learning more about the Eagles from our sister site Bleeding Green Nation. Hopefully you like learning more about the Eagles and maybe worrying a bit about them, as well.

One thing is clear: This isn’t going to be an easy game to win, even at home.