Sometimes, it’s not about who you play but when you play them. The Falcons have been extremely lucky in that department, but injuries are beginning to pile up for the Dirty Birds.
Atlanta has faced several injury-riddled teams. To start, the Rams were dealing with multiple injured offensive linemen. Then, the Seahawks were without Jamal Adams. The Bucs were down multiple wideouts. In the team’s past two wins, the Falcons have faced defenses missing their top player. The Browns were without Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney, and the 49ers were without Nick Bosa, Arik Armstead, and Javon Kinlaw. Most recently, Atlanta faced a Bengals team missing multiple defensive starters.
But that luck is beginning to catch up with the Falcons as injuries spread rapidly through the secondary. Coming into Week 7, the Falcons were down multiple key starters. Cordarrelle Patterson had missed the prior two games on the IR, while Casey Hayward missed the first of his four-game minimum absence. And on Sunday, the Falcons saw nearly every member of the secondary go down with an injury.
AJ Terrell exited the contest after re-injuring his hamstring. He’s considered week-to-week. Jaylinn Hawkins is in concussion protocol and will miss Week 8. Depth pieces Mike Ford and Dee Alford were also hampered with lower body injuries.
Falcons S Jaylinn Hawkins is OUT this week — in concussion protocol.
CB AJ Terrell is "week-to-week."
CB Dee Alford is "day-to-day."
— Michael Rothstein (@mikerothstein) October 24, 2022
Joe Burrow and the Bengals vaunted receiving core took full advantage. Burrow threw for nearly 500 yards and three touchdowns on over 80% passing, with two pass catchers eclipsing 100 yards. The Falcons’ lack of a pass rush also played a role.
Burrow and Cincy’s offense had all the time in the world to throw despite a mostly shaky offensive line. Atlanta obviously needs more burn from the defensive front, but without the horses on the backend to go man-to-man, Dean Pees has his hands tied. The Falcons were extremely lucky to begin the year in the injury department. But attrition in the NFL knows no colors, and Atlanta is now dealing with a myriad of injuries.
Photographer: Bob Kupbens/Icon Sportswire