The Falcons have been a relatively healthy team this season. There’s been a couple of notable players struck by the injury bug, like Troy Andersen and Avery Williams, but the club has held the health advantage damn near every week of the season.
Unfortunately, it seems that luck has run out against the Titans. To add insult to injury, the club lost Grady Jarrett early in Sunday’s contest. His absence showed up in a big way. Derrick Henry ran at will, and Will Levis was mostly unbothered in the pocket. Jarrett might be the most important player on this Falcons’ defense.
The hits didn’t stop there, though. Drake London eventually went down with what was revealed to be a groin injury. Desmond Ridder was evaluated for a concussion, but that situation seemed to be an addition-by-subtraction scenario because Taylor Heinicke looked much better in the second half.
Keith Smith, Kaden Elliss, and Lorenzo Carter went down with less serious injuries, but the concern surrounds Jarrrett and London. Arthur Smith told reporters that the Falcons were waiting on scans on Jarrett, who was not available after the game. London seems to be fine, but it is a worst case scenario for Jarrett, who has been diagnosed with a torn ACL and is out for the season.
Falcons’ Pro-Bowl DT Grady Jarrett suffered a season-ending torn ACL during Sunday’s loss, per sources. The Falcons without Jarrett will play the Vikings without Cousins on Sunday.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 30, 2023
The Falcons defense will not be the same menacing unit without Grady Jarrett. That’s obvious. He’s the heart and soul of that side of the ball, and there’s no player that can replace his impact. Calais Campbell will likely kick inside more often now. LaCale London, Ta’Quon Graham, and Albert Huggins will assume a larger workload.
It sucks, but it’s the reality of the NFL. Injuries happen, and there has to be a next-man-up mentality. The playoffs are still within reach as the Falcons sit atop the NFC South in first place.
Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire