This has not been a banner year for the offense through two games, with nobody outside of Cordarrelle Patterson operating at the height of their powers. That includes Russell Gage, who has just 5 receptions for 28 yards on the year so far and is now injured.
Gage was hurt against Tampa Bay and, to his credit, gutted out most of the game. He did not look 100% in that effort and it was fair to wonder whether he’d be good to go next weekend against the Giants. Now NFL insider Ian Rapoport is reporting that Gage’s injury is a week-to-week ankle ailment, but calls it a “long-shot” that he’ll play Sunday as of today.
#Falcons WR Russell Gage is considered week-to-week with an ankle injury suffered on Sunday, source said. The team will see on Friday if he can possibly go this week vs the #Giants, though it appears as a bit of a long-shot at first glance.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 22, 2021
The Falcons badly need a lot of things on offense, but a healthy Gage is definitely on the list, and they’d be best served getting him to 100% before they trot him back out there. The problem is that the team’s depth is not incredibly inspiring, with Frank Darby missing last week, Christian Blake and Tajae Sharpe mostly having quiet and limited efforts thus far. Olamide Zaccheaus had two grabs for 22 yards on Sunday and would presumably be in line for a majorly expanded role this weekend, and his speed can’t do anything but help this passing game.
Atlanta may not stand pat if Gage is going to miss the game. They worked out veteran John Brown, most recently with the Raiders, as well as receivers Marcell Ateman and Kelvin Harmon. Brown’s experience, speed and history of production would make him a strong addition to this group even if they’re not going to be without Gage, but I’d feel much better about not having #14 this week if I knew Brown would be in the fold. Whether or not the team signs someone will help give us a clue as to what they think is going to happen with Gage this weekend, but it goes without saying that the Falcons need more than just Calvin Ridley, Kyle Pitts, Cordarrelle Patterson and Mike Davis as an emergency dumpoff option, especially with the offensive line looking so shaky in the early going.
We’ll hope Gage is healthy and back on the field soon, but it sounds like he’ll be a gametime call at best on Sunday afternoon.