Falcons expecting starting lineman to return to practice

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The Falcons beat the Seahawks on Sunday as Cordarrelle Patterson ran for a career-high 141 yards despite Atlanta being down one of their starting offensive linemen. Elijah Wilkinson, the team’s starting left guard, missed the game in Seattle due to a personal matter as Colby Gossett filled in for the veteran. Admittedly, Gossett did pretty well, but the Falcons expect Wilkinson back at practice on Wednesday to assume his starting job, according to Josh Kendall of The Athletic.

Wilkinson beat out second-year man Jalen Mayfield this offseason; he and the offensive line have looked exponentially better from a year ago. The Falcons’ offense eclipsed 200 rush yards in the season opener, and Arthur Smith praised Wilkinson’s performance against Aaron Donald and the Rams’ stellar defensive front.

“I think Elijah’s handled that transition really well. I thought it was his best game. It was a heck of a challenge, they moved Donald (to) a lot of spots, and our guys handled it, and they adapted. It wasn’t perfect, but I think there’s been a lot of progress over there,” Smith said.

As the Falcons head home to host the Browns, having him in the lineup against an imposing Cleveland pass rush will be critical in Atlanta’s aspirations to get back to a .500 record.

Outside of the X’s and O’s, we all hope whatever situation Wilkinson was dealing with is figured out, and his loved ones are all healthy. He’s been a pleasant surprise on the field this season, but he’s still a human and deserves our sympathy without prying into his affairs.

Photographer: Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire

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