The Atlanta Falcons have lost another key cog of its offense for the rest of the season.
Running back Caleb Huntley will head to injured reserve with an Achilles injury sustained during the team’s loss to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.
Falcons’ RB Caleb Huntley suffered a season-ending Achilles injury on Sunday that is expected to require surgery.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 19, 2022
Falcons head coach Arthur Smith expressed his shock at the news on Monday.
Arthur Smith said Caleb Huntley will likely be out for a while. It's an Achilles injury. Don't know the full extent, and it was kind of a freak thing, according to Smith.— Tori McElhaney (@tori_mcelhaney) December 19, 2022
"I don't know how the hell it happened."
Added he absolutely hates it for Huntley.
This deeply unfortunate news puts a hamper on Huntley’s excellent 2022 season, one that saw him go from a practice squad elevation to a regular role in the rushing attack. The team wouldn’t have been able to demolish opposing defenses with its prolific run game if not for Huntley’s rise.
He rushed for 366 yards and a touchdown on 76 attempts in 14 games, averaging 4.8 yards a carry. He was the seventh-best ranked running back this season for Pro Football Focus.
The Falcons are going to have to ride the hot hand with Tyler Allgeier in their last three games, as well as relying on electric veteran Cordarrelle Patterson and punt return ace Avery Williams. The team might also call up running back B.J. Baylor from the practice squad and give him some reps as the season winds down, as well.
We hate this for Huntley, who should still have a role with the team once he gets healthy. He has already tweeted that he is looking towards his eventual return to football.
Please do not feel bad for me I’m in a good state of mind I’m locked in I been down before but never out come back will be something to write about remember the tweet #dukeslatt https://t.co/sYVNoUYEA6— Huntley for 6️⃣ (@1DukeHuntley) December 19, 2022
Injuries to the Achilles can take time to recover, so it shouldn’t be a given that he’s ready to go for the 2023 season. We hope Huntley’s recovery goes smoothly and quickly, and we’ll see how the Falcons choose to replace his role in the offense in the meantime.