The Falcons head into Sunday’s 2nd NFC South tilt of the season against the cratering Carolina Panthers. Briefly owning one of the best records in the league, the wheels fell off and the Charlotte team entered into a very uncontrolled slide with Sam Darnold manning the controls.
Atlanta has a chance to move above .500 for the first time in years and to move into the playoff race against a much more difficult upcoming schedule. The Panthers... don’t have a lot to play for thanks to mounting injuries and ineffectiveness which are unlikely to subside anytime soon.
For Sunday, the Falcons are... healthy. Supremely healthy. Entering this weekend, Atlanta had zero players missing practice or even limited. This is a rare occasion but good news for Arthur Smith and Co.
However, the big news is Calvin Ridley surprisingly missing Sunday’s game. Per the Falcons, Ridley will be out as he again attends to a personal matter, similar to his surprise miss of the New York Jets game. Tajae Sharpe replaces Ridley in the lineup.
Missing Ridley is a downgrade for the Falcons, obviously. The team’s depth at wide receiver is poor. However, with the emergence of Kyle Pitts, and Ridley’s poor performances so far in Arthur Smith’s offense, it is unclear how much his absence will be felt.
Below is the team’s full inactives.
- 18 WR Calvin Ridley
- 25 RB Wayne Gallman
- 48 LB Dorian Etheridge
- 50 DL John Cominsky
- 68 OL Josh Andrews
- 95 DL Ta’Quon Graham
The Panthers are on the other side of the coin. We knew certain players like CJ Henderson would not play, Stephen Gilmore would, with the real question being if the team’s talented linebacker duo would be able to lineup today.
Panthers inactives:— Joe Person (@josephperson) October 31, 2021
Injured: WR Terrace Marshall Jr., CB CJ Henderson.
Scratches: LB Kamal Martin, DT Phil Hoskins.
Shaq Thompson is active, which is a bit of a downgrade for Atlanta’s offense. He missed three games with a foot injury, but the questionable nature of his return suggests he is not at full speed. When healthy, Thompson is one of Carolina’s best players.
Henderson is notable, however, with Gilmore playing, his loss should be less impactful.
Despite being healthy going into the game, Atlanta’s inactives pack a punch.