Falcons’ rising star wideout Calvin Ridley has been dealing with injuries on and off all season. Most recent;y, he sprained his ankle in week 8 against the Panthers and was sidelined in Week 9 when the Falcons defeated the Denver Broncos.
Ridley was able to rest last week without missing out since the Falcons had their bye. Atlanta returns to the field this week to play the Saints and it looks like Ridley might be on his way back.
Ridley’s Injury Update
Interim head coach Raheem Morris said that Ridley has resumed running with trainers at practice and that the team will take a look at him close when they resume practice on Wednesday.
“We should have a better feel for him on Wednesday, getting him in here, getting him into individual drills, getting him into a little bit of team work and see how he goes, talking him through it and just seeing where he’s at little by little, step by step in order to get him to Sunday and see if we can get him going,” Morris said, via D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Right now, Ridley is tied with Julio Jones for the team lead of 43 catches. He also leads the team with 657 receiving yards and six receiving touchdowns.
Broncos at Falcons Recap
In Week 9, the Falcons took on Denver where they defeated them 34-27 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
With Ridley out, Olamide Zaccheaus stepped into the starting role. The former Virginia Cavaliers star had quite the day for Atlanta.
He hauled in a 51-yard touchdown pass from Matt Ryan in the first quarter to give the Falcons a 10-0 lead over Denver. It was Zaccheaus’ first touchdown reception of the 2020 season.
At the end of the game, the UVA product led the team with 103 yards receiving on four receptions and a touchdown. The Falcons went on to improve to 3-6 on the season.
So far this season, Zaccheaus has 18 receptions for 253 yards and a score.
As an undrafted free agent, Zaccheaus signed with the Falcons last May. He finished his UVA career as the Cavaliers’ all-time leading receiver in receptions with 250 over the course of his time in Charlottesville. He topped the previous record-holder Billy McMullen by 40 career receptions.
Zaccheaus finished his career at No. 2 in career receiving yards behind McMullen and No. 4 in receiving touchdowns.
If Ridley isn’t available this week or can’t play the entire game, Zacchaeus is a reliable backup.
Falcons Set to Face Brees-Less Saints
In their win against the 49ers on Sunday, Saints QB Drew Brees took a brutal hit from Niner’s defensive end Kentavius Street. Brees went down with only eight minutes left on the clock in the second quarter. You could tell the quarterback was shaken up a bit as he temporarily left the game.
From the hit, Brees suffered several rib fractures on bother sides of his chest and a collapsed lung on the right side. He had reportedly entered the game with one cracked rib already.
With Brees out, the Falcons will prepare to face both backups Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill.