The Atlanta Falcons are just one more sleep away from facing the New England Patriots for a Thursday Night Football showdown and the status of their most valuable player, Cordarrelle Patterson, is still up in the air.
In fact, Falcons head coach Arthur Smith addressed the media on Wednesday, November 17, and said that Patterson will be a “game-time” decision with his ankle injury.
“It’s a short week. It’s not like it’s been any kind of ‘Junction Boys’-style practice, but he’s participated,” Smith said, via ESPN’s Michael Rothstein. “We’ll make the best decision tomorrow, probably pregame. We’ll take that one all the way up.”
The Falcons dual-threat running back pick up the injury in Sunday’s 43-3 loss to the Dallas Cowboys.
His absence would be a huge loss for the Falcons’ weak offense as Patterson currently leads the team in rushing yards (473), receiving touchdowns (5), and total touchdowns (7).
Although he’s been listed as limited on the injury report, Patterson has practiced all week leading up to Thursday’s matchup.
As for Smith, he’s not worried about what the verdict might be tomorrow.
“Whatever comes our way, the circumstances, we’re in the solution business,” Smith said. “That’s what they pay me to do. They pay me to coach and to try and problem solve, and that’s what my job is every day.
“I don’t worry about things you can’t control.”
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Who Steps Up for Patterson?
The Falcons don’t have another RB/WR on the roster who doubles as both as well as Patterson, so they’ll need to turn to Mike Davis and Wayne Gallman in the run game and use the available receivers they have in the passing game.
The Falcons signed Gallman back in September to add more veteran experience to the Falcons’ backfield. The 27-year-old is used to being the next man up since he had to do so during the 2020 season for New York Giants after they lost Saquon Barkley to a torn ACL. He ended the year recording a career-high of 682 rushing yards and 6 rushing touchdowns on 4.6 yards per carry as the Giants’ lead back. Through four NFL seasons, the former fourth-round pick has totaled 338 career carries and 80 receptions.
When he became a free agent at the end of last season, the San Francisco 49ers picked him up for the offseason but he failed to make the final roster, thus ending up in Atlanta.
Since rookie tight end Kyle Pitts will likely be the main target for New Englands’ defense, Matt Ryan will be stuck with using a receiving crew consisting of Tajae Sharpe, Russell Gage and Olamide Zaccheaus.
Falcons Week 11 Depth Chart vs. New England
Below is the Falcons’ Week 11 depth chart vs. the New England Patriots:
QB: Matt Ryan, Josh Rosen, Feleipe Franks
RB: Mike Davis, Cordarrelle Patterson, Wayne Gallman
WR: Tajae Sharpe, Christian Blake
WR: Russell Gage, Olamide Zaccheaus, Frank Darby
TE: Kyle Pitts, Lee Smith
TE: Hayden Hurst, Keith Smith
LT: Jake Matthews, Jason Spriggs
LG: Jalen Mayfield, Josh Andrews
C: Matt Hennessy, Drew Dalman
RG: Chris Lindstrom, Drew Dalman
RT: Kaleb McGary, Jason Spriggs, Colby Gossett
DL: Grady Jarrett, Marlon Davidson
DL: Tyeler Davison, Ta’Quon Graham, Anthony Rush
DL: Jonathan Bullard, Mike Pennel, John Cominsky
OLB: Dante Fowler, Brandon Copeland
LB: Deion Jones, Mykal Walker
LB: Foyesade Oluokun, Daren Bates
OLB: Adetokunbo Ogundeji, James Vaughters
CB: A.J. Terrell, Darren Hall, Chris Williamson
CB: Fabian Moreau, Avery Williams, Kendall Sheffield
S: Erik Harris, Jaylinn Hawkins
S: Duron Harmon, Richie Grant
K: Younghoe Koo
P: Dustin Colquitt
LS: Josh Harris
H: Dustin Colquitt
PR: Avery Williams, Olamide Zaccheaus
KOR: Cordarrelle Patterson