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Falcons Panthers inactives: Ito Smith ruled out; Panthers missing Russell Okung

NFL: Falcons at Panthers 20-6 Photo by Bob Leverone/Sporting News via Getty Images via Getty Images

Who said Thursday Night Football has the worst games? Tonight, the 1-6 Falcons play the 3-4 Carolina Panthers in a mostly empty stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina. The excitement across the nation is palpable.

For the Falcons, we already knew Julio Jones would play and Takkarist McKinley would not suit up. The big news is at running back, and Marlon Davidson apparently being a healthy scratch after returning from the COVID-19 list.

The following players will not suit up tonight:

  • Takk McKinley
  • Ito Smith
  • Jordan Miller
  • John Wetzel
  • Marlon Davidson

The defensive line will still be a major liability. However, it will be interesting to see Qadree Ollison finally running the ball. A fifth-round big back got only a few chances in his rookie season but has been displaced by the Todd Gurley signing.

We knew previously that Christian McCaffrey would be out, however, his loss doesn’t impact the game’s outlook after Mike Davis put up 149 total yards and 1 touchdown against the Falcons only a few weeks ago. Even Devonta Freeman could run on this defense. But could he do it missing the team’s top tackle?

Russell Okung is a notable inactive, perhaps giving the Falcons a better chance at pressuring quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and slowing down the aforementioned Davis.