After Sunday’s win over the Saints, it was reported the Falcons were prepared to be without their, now star tight end, for some time. MRI’s on Monday revealed there was nothing torn, but Hooper did suffer an MCL sprain, which can keep someone out anywhere from a week to eight. In his case, it will land somewhere in the middle – Ian Rapoport informs us.
Update on the MCL sprain suffered by #Falcons TE Austin Hooper: He’s expected to be out about a month, source said. Not great news for the NFL’s leader in catches at his position.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 13, 2019
Austin Hooper ended up making the Pro-Bowl last year, but this has been his breakout campaign. He has already crushed his career-high in touchdowns, which is now six, was only 52 behind his career-high in receiving yards, and was on pace to shatter his career-high in receptions by nearly 30. Hooper’s arguably been the most valuable player on an offense that features a former MVP and Julio Jones. It is criminal that he won’t be able to finish this out the right way.
With seven games left in the season, Hooper should return, but there is no hurry to rush him back to the field. In his place, expect to see a lot more of Jaeden Graham in a pass-catching role. He showed a lot of promise as a receiver in the preseason but hasn’t seen much action with Hooper being so effective and Luke Stocker also on the roster. Graham only has two catches for 32 yards on the season.