Falcons provide positive injury update on Jeff Okudah

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Ahead of the Falcons season opener against the Panthers, Arthur Smith is optimistic regarding Jeff Okudah‘s injury, which has kept him sidelined for more than a month. Atlanta’s head coach told reporters that he’s getting close, ahead of where they thought he’d be, and it’s too early to rule him out for Sunday.

All of these are fantastic updates for the Falcons starting cornerback.

The club is relatively healthy. Cordarrelle Patterson and Mike Hughes have been banged up but both are expected to suit up for Week 1. Okudah was the only one whose status was uncertain.

This still doesn’t mean he’s going to be ready to go, but it’s the best update we’ve got on the Okudah situation. The Falcons would love to have him out there; Tre Flowers is the first one off the bench according to the club’s depth chart, and though he’s a serviceable veteran, it’s not an inspiring option.

Thankfully, the Panthers don’t have a very threatening receiving core, and Carolina is dealing with injuries in that department. DJ Chark Jr. and Terrace Marshall Jr. may not suit up, while the other options are an old Adam Theilen, a journeyman Hayden Hurst, and a second-round rookie Jonathan Mingo.

The Falcons obviously prefer Jeff Okudah to be healthy, but a bad offensive line and poor receiving core should give Atlanta’s defense confidence with or without Okudah. If a rookie quarterback in his first start with a new regime dices up this revamped defense without one starter, we’ve got bigger problems than Okudah being out.

Photographer: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire


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