The Atlanta Falcons received their first bad news of the off-season with Avery Williams requiring surgery and likely missing the entire 2023 season. Williams was a valuable member of the roster returning kicks, serving as a depth running back, and as an emergency corner option.
Williams' versatility clearly made him a big part of Arthur Smith's roster and one that isn't going to be easily replaced. The most impactful decision the Falcons will have to make with Williams on the shelf is who will return punts for Atlanta.
Cordarrelle Patterson could be pointed to as an answer, however, Patterson is far too valuable part of the offense to ask the veteran to play receiver, running back, and return both kicks and punts. The Falcons will likely have an open competition throughout camp and the preseason.
Protecting Patterson's health is more important than making the easy move of slotting in the veteran. The Falcons have a number of interesting options on their roster and now will have one more roster spot up for grabs.
Looking at the possibilities on Atlanta's roster three players clearly stand out as players already being considered for roster spots and either have the speed and ability or history of returning punts.