A.J. Terrell, Jalen Mayfield to return to Falcons practice

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The Falcons could be welcoming reinforcements backs before their Week 11 contest against the Bears. Atlanta is trying to avoid a three-game losing streak, while Chicago is looking to continue their offensive surge, averaging 31 points over the last month. At the team’s press conference on Wednesday, Arthur Smith told reporters that A.J. Terrell and Jalen Mayfield would return to practice.

Terrell has missed the last three games after suffering an injury in the Falcons’ 28-14 win over the 49ers. The hamstring issue kept him out for half of the tilt with the Niners and nearly all of the following week against the Bengals. A combination of Cornell Armstrong, Rashad Fenton, and Darren Hall has assumed duties on the boundary in the wake of Terrell and Casey Heyward’s absences.

The Falcons’ defense has been reeling in recent weeks, unable to stop any offense they play, and the Bears have one of the most potent rushing attacks in football with the incredibly dynamic Justin Fields at quarterback. Having Terrell back likely won’t make that big of a difference in this one because Chicago is so run-centric. Still, it’ll be a big help in shutting down Darnell Mooney, the only pass catching threat other than Cole Kemet on the Bears.

Mayfield hasn’t been active for a single game this season; he’s been on the injured reserve since September. The team now has 21 days to either add him to the active roster or leave him on the IR for the rest of the season. After starting 16 games as a rookie, Mayfield has been replaced by Elijah Wilkinson, who was a revelation at left guard before hitting the IR. Matt Hennessy replaced the veteran and performed admirably but also landed on the IR.

Now, the Falcons are rolling with Colby Gossett as the starter at left guard. He had a rough go against the Panthers in primetime, but unfortunately, Atlanta doesn’t have a better option at this point. If Mayfield is activated, I wonder if the staff feels he’s in a position to assume the starting role over Gossett. The journeyman guard performed pretty well considering the circumstances against the Seattle Seahawks in place of an injured Elijah Wilkinson, but the most recent performance against Carolina was excruciatingly bad. We’ll see what the Falcons do at left guard.

Photographer: David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire

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