Despite beating the 49ers last week, which is by far the most impressive win of Arthur Smith’s tenure, the Falcons suffered a bevy of injuries. Ta’Quon Graham, A.J. Terrell, Isaiah Oliver, and Casey Hayward all went down at some point during the team’s Week 6 matchup. But they were all different severities.
Graham would re-enter the game, while the other three did not return. However, only one is considered a long-term injury — Casey Hayward. Atlanta will be without the veteran corner for at least four weeks after placing him on the Injured Reserve, per the team.
With Hayward sidelined, the Falcons will most likely turn to Darren Hall to man the boundary opposite of Terrell. In a small sample size against the 49ers, Hall looked terrific. However, it might not be as easy to corral the receiving core of Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, and Tyler Boyd.
With Oliver’s status unclear, the Falcons would turn to a combination of Mike Ford and Dee Alford to man the nickel position. The Falcons will have to dig deep if they want to slow down the potent passing attack of the Bengals.
In a corresponding move, the Falcons signed tight end MyCole Pruitt after recording a touchdown on the opening drive against the Niners. He was elevated from the practice squad ahead of the Tampa Bay game since Kyle Pitts was unavailable.
Pruitt was drafted in 2015 by Minnesota but made his way to Tennessee in 2018, where he and Arthur Smith formed their relationship. Now, it’s brought him to Atlanta, where he’s looking to be a positive addition to the Falcons’ offense.
Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire