With Julio Jones in Tennessee, there will probably be considerably extra weight on Calvin Ridley’s shoulders to assist maintain the Falcons‘ passing sport afloat. Ridley just lately underwent minor foot surgical procedure from Dr. Robert Anderson in Inexperienced Bay, based on NFL Community’s Ian Rapoport. Whereas the surgical procedure will maintain him out of minicamp, Ridley is anticipated to be good to go by the beginning of coaching camp.
The twenty sixth general decide within the 2018 draft, Ridley caught 124 passes for 1,687 yards and 17 touchdowns throughout his first two seasons in Atlanta. He had his breakout season in 2020, catching 90 of 143 targets for 1,374 yards and 9 touchdowns whereas averaging 15.3 yards per reception. Ridley had almost 600 extra receiving yards than Russell Gage, who completed the season because the Falcons’ second-leading receiver. Jones, who missed seven video games attributable to damage, completed simply behind Gage with 771 receiving yards (in comparison with Gage’s 786) throughout his closing season in Atlanta.
With Jones gone, the Falcons’ receiving corps will now be led by Ridley, Gage, Blake Christian, newcomer Cordarrelle Patterson and rookies Frank Darby and Kyle Pitts. Pitts, the fourth general decide within the draft, has shortly impressed Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, who’s making ready for his first season with out Jones since 2010.
“The factor that I have been impressed with for him is simply his humility and his means to need to work within the first couple of weeks,” Ryan stated of Pitts, by way of D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Structure. “I believe that is real. I’d encourage him to remain that manner as a result of to me while you always making an attempt to get higher and enhance, that is the best way you get to the place you need to go. He is definitely off to a superb begin.”
The Falcons must defy the percentages if they’re going to end above .500 for the primary time since 2017. Based on CBS Sports activities knowledge scientist Stephen Oh, the Falcons’ 2021 win projection has dipped from 8.9 to eight.5 wins following the commerce of Jones. Atlanta’s playoff odds have additionally fallen from 43.6% to 34.9%.