Earlier in the week, reports of Jason Pierre-Paul missing Buccaneers practice gave the Falcons a glimmer of hope to upset the defending Super Bowl champions. In reality, JPP missed two straight practices after being limited on Wednesday because he got a veteran day off said head coach Bruce Arians.
Now, there is more news on the injury front that could benefit the Falcons even more than the absence of JPP. Carlton Davis was added to Friday’s report, listing him as limited with a hamstring injury. His status for Sunday’s matchup is questionable.
Injuries are never something to hope or cheer for because they’re human beings and this is their livelihoods, but the Falcons will take no pity in exploiting those weaknesses. The Bucs are thin at one position and one position only — cornerback.
If Davis is unable to strap it up Sunday, Arthur Smith will surely test Jamel Dean and Ross Cockrell early and often. Tampa’s front seven will make it difficult for the Falcons’ offense to establish the run, but with Todd Bowles thin on the boundary, Smith would be wise to use short passes and bubble screens as an extension of the run game.
Bowles’ group had a difficult time tackling last week against the Cowboys, so it would behoove the Falcons if they got the ball in the hands of their most dynamic playmakers — i.e., Kyle Pitts and Calvin Ridley. Carlton Davis’ availability will be something to pay attention to leading up to the game.