The Falcons lost Jeff Okudah to an injury in training camp for an indeterminate amount of time, but thankfully it does sound like Okudah will be back early in the season. Fortunately, Clark Phillips III also avoided a serious injury after being taken off the field in a cart on Tuesday.
The promising rookie cornerback figured to vie for a larger role with Okudah down, but in the first joint practice with Miami, Phillips was injured and had to be carted off the practice field. Per The Athletic’s Josh Kendall, Phillips is day-to-day, which means his long-term availability shouldn’t be in doubt.
The Falcons got good news on CB Clark Phillips III this afternoon. The rookie is not seriously injured and will be day-to-day, according to a source.— Josh Kendall (@JoshTheAthletic) August 8, 2023
This went from potential massive bummer to relatively good news, as it did with Okudah. Many analysts considered Phillips a draft day steal, and his ball skills and versatility were already showing up in training camp. Expected to slot in as the team’s fourth or fifth cornerback this year and push for a larger role down the line, Phillips is clearly a major piece of the puzzle at corner for this Falcons team in the future, and losing him for any length of time would weaken this team’s depth considerably. Thankfully, he should be back and competing soon.
With no Okudah and possibly no Phillips for the next few days, Darren Hall, Tre Flowers, Cornell Armstrong, and others will take on expanded roles in the first preseason game. Dee Alford is likely locked into the nickel role and Mike Hughes as a top backup inside and outside, so the fortunes of everyone else on this list may well depend on how quickly Okudah and Phillips return. They’ll likely get their extended audition, as the team will be cautious with Phillips ahead of Friday’s game.
It’s nice to get some good injury news, and we’ll hope to see Phillips back out there soon.