The Falcons are officially without wide receiver Calvin Ridley against the Denver Broncos. The offense will struggle without their top red zone target, bad news as Denver looked like the most winnable game remaining on Atlanta’s schedule.
Ridley’s replacement is unclear. Dirk Koetter has struggled replacing injured players. While this should mean a much bigger role for Russell Gage and Hayden Hurst, we have previously seen bigger roles instead for Luke Stocker and Olamide Zaccheaus. Hopefully, Koetter can better adjust to the loss.
For the good news, slot corner Darqueze Dennard returns as a badly needed reinforcement to the struggling secondary. Dennard was a solid addition the defense has sorely missed.
For the remaining inactives, Ito Smith, Dante Fowler Jr, John Wetzel, Marlon Davidson, Deadrin Senat and Takk McKinley are officially out.
It looks like Qadree Ollison is finally getting the nod over Ito Smith. Falcons fans have not seen much from Ollison since he was drafted in the 5th round.
Disappointing is seeing Deadrin Senat again on the list of inactives. The Falcons are short multiple defensive linemen and he still is not playing. Even with Davidson out again, Senat can’t crack into the active list. He is almost certainly gone from the team.
For the Broncos, only Jeff Driskel, Diontae Spencer, A.J. Bouye, and Bryce Callahan out. The last two on the list, Denver’s starting corners, suggest the Broncos secondary will have trouble covering wide receivers. With Ridley out, we may see a big game from Julio Jones.