Falcons welcome Cordarrelle Patterson, Jaylinn Hawkins back to practice

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The Falcons could welcome back as many as three starters who missed the team’s Week 8 matchup against the Panthers for this weekend’s contest against the Chargers. Arthur Smith told members of the media that Cordarrelle Patterson and Jaylinn Hawkins would return to practice Wednesday.

Hawkins is eligible to return immediately after missing last week’s matchup against the Panthers as he dealt with a head injury suffered the week prior. Hawkins was sorely missed against Carolina, and the Chargers’ passing attack presents a challenging task for Atlanta’s suspect pass defense. Having Hawkins back should make fans feel much better.

Patterson is undoubtedly the name to watch this week. Today begins the 21-day window that he can be activated to the active roster and return to the field. It isn’t guaranteed that he will play this week, but from videos, it seems he’s eager and ready to get back on the field. Before going down with a knee injury, Patterson was well on his way to topping last year’s career highs. He’s the most efficient and effective weapon in the Falcons’ offense.

Despite only really playing three games, Patterson remains the team’s leading rusher (340 yards). He set a career-high in rushing yards in the season opener (121 yards), then topped it a couple of weeks later in Seattle, posting 141 yards and a score on just 17 carries en route to NFC Offensive Player of the Week honors. However, that facet of the offense hasn’t been too hampered by his absence.

Tyler Allgeier and Caleb Huntley have done an admirable job picking up the slack. The rookie has totaled 58 carries for 185 yards and two touchdowns while the second-year Huntley has posted 46 carries for 206 yards.

Arthur Smith also noted that AJ Terrell, who is dealing with a hamstring injury, hasn’t returned to practice. The Falcons went out and traded for Rashad Fenton at the deadline, but I’d be shocked if he was in the starting rotation this week, even if Terrell can’t suit up. It’ll likely be Darren Hall and one of Dee Alford or Mike Ford patrolling the boundaries. 

The good news is the Falcons are beginning to get healthy as the stretch run approaches. Sitting at 4-4 with playoff aspirations, they need every talented player on the field and healthy.

Photographer: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire

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