The Falcons have been relatively healthy in each of their games this season, outside of Damien Williams missing much of Week 1 and all of Week 2 after landing on the IR. But not anymore. Elijah Wilkinson, who has been the starting left guard all offseason and the regular season, will not be playing in Seattle for Atlanta’s Week 3 matchup against the Seahawks, according to Josh Kendall of The Athletic.
Falcons starting LG Elijah Wilkinson will not play Sunday against the Seahawks due to a personal matter.
— Josh Kendall (@JoshTheAthletic) September 23, 2022
There have been no reports as to why Wilkinson will miss this game, but nobody should speculate on a personal matter. We just all hope he and his loved ones are healthy. So, I will talk about what this means for the Falcons on the gridiron — not great.
Wilkinson has been a breath of fresh air for Falcons fans who had to endure a full season of Jalen Mayfield taking his lumps last year. Atlanta’s offensive line gave up the most quarterback hits in the league to go along with 40 sacks. A simple swap of Mayfield for Wilkinson (and Matt Hennessy in favor of Drew Dalman) has paid massive dividends for the Falcons offense as a whole.
“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.
The Falcons will surely miss Wilkinson’s presence along the offensive front, but fans don’t have to worry about potentially seeing Mayfield in the lineup as the second-year Michigan man is still on the IR. Instead, it’ll likely be Colby Gossett, who started the final game of the 2021 season in place of the injured Mayfield. In more of a precautionary move, the Falcons will likely call up Justin Shaffer or another practice squad linemen to serve as an emergency depth pice. Seeing how Gossett does in what we hope is just a spot start will be interesting.
Photographer: Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire