Falcons vs. Bucs: Rookie WR Ruled Out With Injury

Falcons Injury report

Getty Frank Darby #88 at Falcons training camp.

On Friday, the Atlanta Falcons officially ruled out rookie wide receiver Frank Darby vs. the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, as reported by Falcons’ insider Scott Bair.

Darby was the lone player listed on the team’s injury report after missing Friday’s practice with a calf injury. The sixth-round draft missed last week’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles as a healthy scratch.

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Darby Stays Competing for Roster Spot

The Falcons selected Darby as a sixth-round pick (187th overall) out of ASU. The six-foot-one, 200 pounds wideout saw action in 40 career games as a Sun Devil where he reeled in 67 receptions for 1,317 yards and 13 touchdowns.

While it’s uncommon to see a draft pick not make the final roster cuts, it certainly does happen.

That being said, Darby may have been the biggest surprise to make the Falcons 53-man roster after a rocky training camp and preseason performance.  Of course, Calvin Ridley, Russell Gage, and Olamide Zaccheaus seeled their roster spots early, but Darby still had to battle Tajae Sharpe, Christian Blake, and Chris Rowland. Luckily, the Falcons kept six wideout slots leaving Roland the off man out.

Darby is listed on the Falcons depth chart as the sixth receiver, behind Zaccheaus.

“He’s taken the most reps of any receiver in training camp,” Falcons head coach Arthur Smith said of Darby making the final roster, via AJC. “Sometimes in the games, he got a lot of work on special teams, and that’s a big part of his development. We anticipate that he will help us. I don’t know if it will be Week 1, but at some point. If Frank continues on the path that he’s on, we feel like he’ll help us at some point in this season.”


Bucs’ Injury Report

The Bucs’ have not ruled any of their players out yet but here’s a look at their lastest injury report:

CB Carlton Davis (hamstring) – Limited Participation – QUESTIONABLE
OLB Shaq Barrett (back) – Full Participation
WR Antonio Brown (knee) – Did Not Participate
TE Rob Gronkowski (not injury related – resting veteran) – Did Not Participate
DT Steve McLendon (not injury related – resting veteran) – Full Participation
OLB Jason Pierre-Paul (hand) – Did Not Participate
S Jordan Whitehead (hamstring) – Full Participation

The biggest takeaway here is that Bucs’ safety Jordan Whitehead is ready to go for Sunday.  This is huge news for a Tampa Bay secondary that struggled against Dallas and will be without cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting for the next three games––maybe longer.

The Falcons are 12.5-point underdogs against the Bucs, which is no surprise after Week 1’s lackluster performance against the Eagles. Not to mention the fact that Matt Ryan has yet to beat Tom Brady after five showdowns. This matchup won’t be easy, but let’s hope that Dean Pees’s 10+ years of experience coaching against Brady can help slow him down.

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