Rapoport added that Ridley had undergone “minor” surgery due to lingering foot issues, but should be ready to go for training camp which starts on July 27.
Head coach Arthur Smith would not confirm Ridley’s status when speaking to the media on Wednesday.
“We have a few guys … that are in different phases of our offseason program,” Smith said, via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Really, the entire objective is to get these guys into the best shape going into training camp and ready to roll ultimately for the regular season for somebody like in Calvin’s spot. We have different guys working through different things.”
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Calvin Ridley Set to Be Matt Ryan’s No. 1 Receiver
With Julio Jones no longer in the picture, Calvin Ridley will undoubtedly be Matt Ryan’s new target.
Ridley already has plenty of experience after emerging as the Falcons’ leader in receiving yards last season with 1,374 yards on 90 catches and nine touchdowns.
Jones played just nine games last season, so with the seven outings he missed, it was Ridley’s job to step up, which he did.
In fact, his numbers actually went up as he averaged 109 receiving yards during Jones’s seven-game absence, per AtlantaFalcons.com. In five of the game, he exceeded triple digits and in total, he had 50 catches for 763 yards and three touchdowns.
Ridley’s 2020 performance ended with a second-team All-Pro accolade.
Along with Ridley, Falcons’ new tight end, Kyle Pitts, will likely be the Falcons’ 2021 leaders in receiving. Ryan will also have two more top targets in Russell Gage and Hayden Hurst.
Falcons WR Depth Outlook for Minicamp
With Ridley sidelined for minicamp, the Falcons’ wideout depth chart on ESPN behind him looks like Olamide Zaccheaus, Cordarrelle Patterson, and Antonio Nunn.
The No. 2 WR depth consists of Russell Gage, Frank Darby, Greg Dortch, and Juwan Green. And in the third wideout slot, the Falcons have Tajae Sharpe, Christian Blake, Chris Rowland, and Austin Trammell.
More focus will likely be on Zaccheaus, who can take this time to prove himself to be starting quality after having 20 catches for 274 yards in 2020, which included a 103-yard performance in a win over Denver where he scored a 51-yard TD.
Most recently, the Falcons signed Sharpe in the midst of the Jones trade saga. He comes to Atlanta with familiarity after already playing under Arthur Smith in 2019, where he had 25 catches on 35 targets for 329 yards, an average of 13.2 yards per reception, and four touchdowns.
We’ll get a better look at the Falcons’ final wide receiver depth chart closer to preseason, for now, it looks like just some names on a roster who are all competing for a starting spot.
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- Calvin Ridley Reveals the ‘Backbone’ of the Falcons [WATCH]’