The Atlanta Falcons offensive line has been one of the pleasant surprises of the still-young 2022 NFL season, but the unit will look a little different on Sunday vs. the Seattle Seahawks.
Left guard Elijah Wilkinson has been ruled out of Sunday’s contest against Seattle because of a personal matter according to Tori McElhaney of the Atlanta Falcons.
“Wilkinson practiced on Wednesday with the team, but did not return to the practice field as the week went on,” reported McElhaney. “It was announced he was dealing with a personal matter that was not injury related.”
A converted right tackle, Wilkinson has been a stabilizing force for a unit that Pro Football Focus (PFF) ranks 14th in the NFL. He’s been a substantial upgrade on last year’s starter Jaylen Mayfield who was forced into a starting role because of lack of options.
Mayfield is still on injured reserve for at least two more games, so the Falcons will likely turn to Colby Gossett who has seen just two snaps this season. Chuma Edoga could be an option, but he was inactive last week against the LA Rams. It would be a stretch to think he’d go from a healthy inactive to a starting role over Gossett.
Gossett saw 74 snaps with the Falcons last season and was graded 65.3 by PFF with an emphasis (70.3) on run blocking.
The Falcons enter the game against the Seahawks as a one-point underdog. Atlanta has managed to keep their starters available through the first two games of the season. Losing Wilkinson will put the Falcons’ razor-thin depth under the microscope on the offensive line.