The Atlanta Falcons were able to take down the division rival Saints on Sunday with a good all-around game but during the game, they lost a key piece to the offense.
Atlanta Falcons tight end Austin Hooper was injured on Sunday and he is expected to miss some time according to NFL.com NFL Insider Ian Rapoport.
The injury bug continues to bite the Atlanta Falcons and just like the injury to Keanu Neal, this one really hurts the team. He’s been the most dependable receiver for the Falcons this year and was the league leader in receptions at tight end spot. Now the Falcons must find someone to step in and pick up jus slack.
We know that Julio Jones will always show up to play and even though Calvin Ridley is up and down, the team knows he can produce at a high level as well. If the Falcons can’t find that third person to contribute in the passing game, this could be a big blow of the team going forward especially if he is out for the rest of the season.
An injury like this does not bode well for a team like the Falcons especially if this Saints game was the start of some type of run that some hope would spark this Falcons team.
Hooper currently leads the Falcons in both catches and touchdowns. He has 56 catches and six touchdowns. He leads all NFL tight ends in those categories as well.
The Falcons have two tight ends behind Austin Hooper on the depth chart: Luke Stocker and Jaeden Graham. Luke Stocker is the more experienced of the two having spent nine years in the NFL playing for the Tampa Bay Bucs and the Tennessee Titans.
Jaeden Graham is a second-year player out to Yale who will finally get a chance to showcase what he can do now with Hooper out of the lineup. This Austin Hooper injury is a big blow to this team and if Stocker and Graham are able to soften the blow of this injury to Hooper then all will remain well for the Falcons.