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Falcons place RB Damien Williams on injured reserve

The veteran was clearly set to be a major part of the Falcons backfield, but that will have to wait a while now.

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Damien Williams looked like he was headed for a significant number of snaps against the Saints in Week 1, but an early rib injury knocked him out for most of the game. Now, with a matchup against the Rams looming, Williams is hitting injured reserve.

The Falcons announced the move earlier this afternoon, meaning Williams is set to miss at least four games, and they also announced the practice squad elevations of both running back Caleb Huntley and defensive lineman Abdullah Anderson.

It’s a bummer for Williams, a well-rounded back who joined the Falcons in free agency after a one-year stint with the Bears. The veteran was the only back besides Cordarrelle Patterson and Avery Williams who was active against the Saints, and it’s fair to say the team envisioned him playing a lot with Patterson. Those plans will now have to wait, but hopefully we see Williams sooner than later given his track record of production and the coaching staff’s clear esteem for him in the first game.

To help offset the loss of Williams, the Falcons have elevated Huntley. It’s fair to assume Cordarrelle Patterson will once again lead the backfield, but with Tyler Allgeier likely to be active and Huntley up, they’ll be able to avoid giving him a career-high number of carries for the second straight week. If the team doesn’t choose to make Allgeier active, Huntley could have a significant role, but either way the bruising back will see some game action Sunday against the Rams. Ideally, Atlanta will run a lot and run effectively.

Anderson is also a welcome addition to the roster this weekend. The veteran landed on the practice squad after being a surprise cut last Saturday, but the news is happier this week as he’ll get to join a defensive line rotation that clearly needs more help. One of the most solid defenders up front in preseason, Anderson figures to be a lock for at least 8-10 snaps on Sunday, and given that nobody was all that impressive behind the starters in Week 1 it could be a much more significant role than that.

We wish Williams well on his recovery, and please give Huntley and Anderson a warm welcome to the roster for the week.