Cordarrelle Patterson’s status was the story of the week for the Falcons. We saw reports he might not play, learned he would be a gametime decision, and fervently hoped he would suit up in a tough matchup if he was healthy enough to do so. As is often the case with hope and Falcons fandom, ours were in vain.
Patterson is among the team’s inactives for Thursday Night Football, leaving Arthur Smith and company to figure out who can produce on the ground and in their air in his stead. There are some surprises on the list this week, as well.
- RB Cordarrelle Patterson
- WR Christian Blake
- DL John Cominsky
- DL Tyeler Davison
- DL Marlon Davidson
- CB Kendall Sheffield
- S Jaylinn Hawkins
Patterson being out will put pressure on Mike Davis, Wayne Gallman and maybe Qadree Ollison to produce as runners, as well as additional pressure on Kyle Pitts, Olamide Zaccheaus, Russell Gage, Tajae Sharpe and Marvin Hall as receivers. Atlanta’s supporting cast is thin tonight with Calvin Ridley still out, Patterson out and Hayden Hurst on injured reserve, so we’ll have to see if these guys can work some magic.
The Falcons will miss Hawkins, too, as he had stepped into a starting role and was playing very well for this defense before he got hurt. We should see more Richie Grant tonight, at least, and I hope he thrives with the opportunity.
The defensive line is where the surprises are. We’re used to seeing Cominsky parked, but Davidson and Davison is a big surprise. Neither one has been playing lights out in 2021, but the Falcons sitting both still made me do a double take given that Davison has been leaned on fairly heavily as a run defender and Davidson still has promise even if the results haven’t been there. The team will give a lot more run to Anthony Rush, Mike Pennel and Jon Bullard, and all three have fared well in recent weeks.
Blake is out in favor of Marvin Hall, I’d expect, and Sheffild has been dealing with injuries and not playing much since his return. We’ll see what happens tonight, but the Falcons are going to have an even tougher time without Patterson and Hawkins.