The Falcons are gearing up for their season opener at home against the Saints, but they’re likely to be shorthanded. The team placed Deion Jones and Isaiah Oliver on the Injured Reserve last week, but a more significant part of the Falcons’ overall success is progressing nicely from his injury. Drake London is set to be a major factor in Arthur Smith’s offense, and we received positive news regarding his chances of playing against the Saints.
Drake London is practicing today. Good news for the Falcons to start Week 1.
— Tori McElhaney (@tori_mcelhaney) September 5, 2022
London injured his knee in the preseason opener against the Lions after an impressive 24-yard catch and run but hasn’t played since. Still, there’s optimism surrounding the situation that he’ll be able to strap it up against New Orleans. After making it back to practice Monday, Arthur Smith said that London is “progressing” before adding that his work in the coming days will determine his status for the opener.
”We’ll see what he looks like,” Smith said, via D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
That’s a pretty vague statement, but I dare say there are clear indicators the Falcons will have their No. 8 overall pick against the Saints. Obviously, if there are any setbacks, London won’t be playing. However, with any luck, he won’t be mentioned on the team’s injury report ahead of the game.
The Falcons will already be underdogs heading into the matchup against the Saints, and being without London could be catastrophic for the Atlanta offense. London’s unique combination of height, ball skills, and after-the-catch ability makes him a prime candidate for a breakout campaign in his first season. The Falcons offense with Kyle Pitts, Cordarrelle Patterson, and London could be an underrated unit in this league.
Photographer: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire