While fans may have one eye on the impending offseason, the Falcons still technically have a route to postseason play. The Falcons could make the playoffs if the team wins out and a few other things happen. It is unlikely but not technically impossible. Obviously, the first step would be to beat the Buffalo Bills this weekend.
Things got more tough as the Omicron virus continues to burn through the NFL. Just yesterday the team put James Vaughters, Brandon Copeland, Tajae Sharpe and Dorian Etheridge on the COVID-19 list. Today it adds two more.
Both QB Feleipe Franks and S Richie Grant were placed on the list Tuesday afternoon. While Franks has seemingly solidified the backup position, his on-field impact has been limited with Arthur Smith thankfully doing away with the Feleipe-cat plays. If Matt Ryan goes down, none of the backups would be able to secure the win.
The bigger problem is the theoretical loss of Grant. He played a bit more than half of the defensive snaps at nickel, essentially replacing the injured Isaiah Oliver. The defense has been improving (but still mediocre) and any losses will hurt the progress.
It is unclear if any of the players currently on the COVID list will miss Sunday’s game. Both players were vaccinated, meaning they can test out ahead of Sunday’s game. The NFL is also trying to loosen COVID rules thanks to the significant number of players and coaches pulling up positive.