The Falcons and Panthers are gearing up for the 2023 season opener in Atlanta, but injuries have arisen on both sides. However, it seems the home team is the more healthy squad entering the Week 1 contest.
Atlanta Falcons Injury Report
CB Jeff Okudah (ankle) – Out
J Cordarrelle Patterson (thigh) – Questionable
WR KhaDarel Hodge (ankle) – Questionable
Carolina Panthers Injury Report
WR DJ Chark (hamstring) – Out
WR Adam Thielen (ankle) – Questionable
WR Terrace Marshall Jr. (back) – No Game Status
The Falcons will be down their top cornerback opposite of A.J. Terrell, but Jeff Okudah was always a long shot to play. Most expect Cordarrelle Patterson and KhaDarel Hodge to suit up on Sunday, though.
Patterson’s impact on the offense cannot be understated. His ability to stress defenses in multiple alignments as a runner and receiver is instrumental in Arthur Smith’s system. Hodge doesn’t have that kind of impact on offense, but he does on special teams. That’s big news for the third phase.
On the other hand, Chark is out, and Thielen looks to be doubtful. Those are arguably Bryce Young’s top wideouts next to Terrace Marshall, who is also dealing with a back injury. Even to begin with, the Panthers’ skill group left a lot to be desired, and now they could be down two of their top pass catchers. The Falcons have absolutely no reason not to win this game.
Regardless of Okudah’s absence, the Falcons boast the more talented group of players. Tre Flowers will likely get the nod opposite of Terrell, but Jonathan Mingo isn’t exactly a threat considering the circumstances. We’ll know more about the status of Thielen closer to game time.
Photographer: Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire