Falcons Without 2 Top Defensive Ends vs. Broncos


Getty Andy Dalton #14 of the Dallas Cowboys looks for an open receiver against Dante Fowler Jr. #56 of the Atlanta Falcons.

The Falcons shut down their facilities on Friday following a positive COVID-19 test, but that doesn’t mean their game against the Broncos is worrisome.

Atlanta still had practice and released their final injury report of the week. It’s not looking too good as top defensive ends Takk McKinley and Dante Fowler have both been ruled out early ahead of Sunday’s game.

Below is a look at the Falcons’ health as of Friday.

Friday Injury Report


CB Kendall Sheffield (concussion)
TE Jaeden Graham (knee)
WR Russell Gage (shoulder, knee)



WR Calvin Ridley (foot) QUESTIONABLE
DE Takk McKinley (groin) OUT
DE Dante Fowler Jr. (hamstring) OUT
CB Jordan Miller (oblique) OUT
T Kaleb McGary (rest)
C Alex Mack (rest)
RB Todd Gurley (rest)
G James Carpenter (rest)

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Falcons Down 2 Top Defensive Ends

The Falcons’ injury report got a little longer this week which is something no team wants to see. Where the Falcons will take a big hit this week is on the defensive side. Both starting defensive ends, McKinley and Fowler are out, so we are going to see a lot of Charles Harris and Steven Means.

On the offensive side of the ball, wideout Calvin Ridley is listed as questionable with a foot injury. Coach Raheem Morris said they have been monitoring Ridley’s injury day-to-day but he seemed optimistic since the foot injury isn’t that serious.

The Falcons still have a hot offense without Ridley, but their already struggling defense can’t really afford to take any more hits.

Broncos Rule Out 1 Player

As for the Broncos, the team has ruled out cornerback A.J. Bouye (concussion) for Sunday’s matchup. Listed as questionable is wideout Tim Patrick (hamstring), safety Trey Marshall (illness), running back Phillip Lindsay (foot), and tight end Nick Vannett (foot).

Both the Broncos and Atlanta are coming off of a big win. The Broncos, however, received one of the franchise’s more surprising wins on Sunday, defeating the Chargers 31-30. They were down 24-3 over halfway through the third quarter and managed to come back with a Drew Lock connection to KJ Hamler for a 1-yard TD pass. That was the rookie Hamler’s first touchdown of his career.

Despite an ugly start, Lock finished the night with 248 yards and three scores. He was terrible until he went 14 of 18 passes for 155 yards and three touchdowns in the fourth quarter.

Falcons Shut Down Facilities

The Atlanta Falcons were forced to shut down their in-person operations Friday following a positive COVID-19 test.

However, the positive test came from a member of the football staff and not a player, according to the team. The Falcone held all operations virtually on Friday “out of an abundance of caution.” Thankfully, the outbreak did not affect the status of Atlanta’s game against the Denver Broncos.

The Falcons also entered the NFL’s intensive protocol for the second time. The protocol mandates extra precaution (shutting down the facility, deep cleaning, moving to exclusively remote work) and identifying potential high-risk close contacts in hopes to to stop the spread of the virus.

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