Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley will be shut down for the rest of the season, Ridley himself announced on Instagram. The second-year wideout sustained an abdominal injury during the third quarter of Atlanta’s win over the Panthers on Sunday, and he did not return to the game.
Obviously, the 4-9 Falcons have been out of playoff contention for some time, so it makes sense for the club to play it safe with Ridley, who followed up a strong rookie campaign in 2018 with an even better sophomore effort. After catching 64 passes for 821 yards and 10 TDs in 2018, Ridley reeled in 63 receptions for 866 yards and seven scores in three fewer games in 2019.
Ridley, whom the Falcons selected with the No. 26 overall pick of the 2018 draft, was considered the most polished receiver in his class. He has more than lived up to that billing and has shown a nose for the end zone, and while the Falcons as a whole have disappointed over the past two years, Ridley has been a bright spot.
Since trading Mohamed Sanu to the Patriots in October, the Falcons have given opportunities to a number of younger receivers. With Ridley out of the picture for the remainder of the year, players like Russell Gage, Christian Blake and Olamide Zaccheaus will have more chances to shine.
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An asterisk (*) indicates the team was in a different city and/or went by a different name during the season listed. The Houston Texans and Philadelphia Eagles have never had a pair of teammates reach 1,000 receiving yards in the same season.