The Falcons have been somewhat lucky regarding the number of injuries the roster has suffered. Where they’ve been unlucky is a lot of their injuries affect one position group. The offensive line and secondary, in particular, have just been decimated.
First, Casey Hayward was placed on the injured reserve and is considered likely gone for the season. Then, Jaylinn Hawkins and AJ Terrell missed time, the former of which only missed one contest, while the latter has been out for two games entering Week 10. And now, it’s been the left guard position.
Starter Elijah Wilkinson missed the tilt against the Chargers and was replaced by Matt Hennessy, who also went down with an injury in Week 9. The Falcons placed both linemen on the IR and will turn to Colby Gossett on Thursday against the Panthers. Atlanta will be down several starters on Thursday Night Football.
The team website reported Wednesday that Terrell, Erik Harris, and Feleipe Franks are inactive. It’ll now be Terrell’s third straight game he’s missed, but with a longer-than-usual break before Week 11, the team is probably hopeful he can return when they face the Bears at home. Harris is the defense’s first safety off the bench, so if Richie Grant or Jaylinn Hawkins go down with an injury, it’ll be recently signed Jovan Moffatt replacing them. Cornell Armstrong or the recently acquired Rashad Fenton will fill in for Terrell.
The last time the Panthers and Falcons met, P.J. Walker and D’Onta Foreman terrorized Atlanta’s defense which was missing AJ Terrell, Casey Hayward, and Jaylinn Hawkins. They’ll be shorthanded once again, but thankfully, the weather will be dreadful. With heavy rains and strong winds in the forecast tonight, the Falcons’ style of play benefits them in this situation. Arthur Smith’s team runs the ball well and defends the run well; the weather could play right into the Falcons’ hands.
Photographer: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire