Falcons LG Makes Return From Injured Reserve

Jalen Mayfield

Getty Atlanta Falcons run out of the tunnel.

Atlanta Falcons second-year guard, Jalen Mayfield, is one step closer to making a comeback.

After spending 10 weeks on injured reserve with a back injury, Mayfield made his return to practice on Wednesday, November 16, according to ESPN’s Michael Rothstein.

Mayfield told reporters that he “felt good” at his first practice back, however, he doubts that he will be ready to go by Sunday against the Chicago Bears.

The team now has a 21-day window to activate Mayfield to the 53-man roster.

Mayfield Received A Lot of Hate Prior to the 2022 Season

It’s no secret that Mayfield was thrown into the fire in 2021.

He was drafted as offensive line depth but ended up starting in 16 games during his rookie year after the Falcons lost veterans Matt Gono and Josh Andrews to injuries.

Prior to that, Mayfield had started just 15 games in three years at Michigan.

Mayfield received a lot of grief from critics and fans prior to the 2022 season due to how he performed during his rookie year. In fact, many believed he wouldn’t make it out of the roster bubble.

People ignored the fact that the college to NFL jump is anything but easy, so it was no surprise that Mayfield struggled as a rookie and led the league in sacks allowed with 11. He also racked up 9 penalties, which tied for 8th-most. io

Despite what critics had to say, Atlanta’s offensive line leader, Chris Lindstrom, believed in him.

“Jalen, you know, Jalen is a great teammate,” Lindstrom said after practice on Tuesday, August 29. “And that’s the biggest thing as a player. You come in every day and he’s working to get better and you love him as a teammate and so that’s really it and that’s all you can ask for. So if a guy is putting their best foot forward, that’s what you always wanted as a teammate and respect and admire about him.”

Falcons Remain In Need at Left Guard

The Falcons starting left guard spot has been beaten up all season.

First, Elijah Wilkinson headed to injured reserve and Matt Hennessey followed him shortly after.

The team has now turned to Colby Gossett, who has been decent in stepping up but not consistent enough for a starting role.

That said, the Falcons could start their fourth left guard in line on Sunday, Chuma Edoga, according to D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“I’ve been working at guard and tackle,” Edoga told Ledbetter this week. “I got a couple reps at left guard (Wednesday and Thursday). I’m just cross-training so that I’m ready to play whenever they need me to.”

Whether or not the Falcons turn to Edoga remains to be seen. But either way, he’s made it clear that he will be ready if his number is called.

“Yeah, just have to be a professional in situations like this,” Edoga said. “Always stay ready. Always stay prepared. Make sure you’re in the playbook. I’m just listening to what they are telling me. Keep my head on straight and keep working.”


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