The Atlanta Falcons lost their first game of the 2023 NFL season. But in an even bigger loss, the Falcons may be without linebacker Troy Andersen for a significant period of time.
Falcons head coach Arthur Smith told reporters on Monday that Andersen’s injury “didn’t look good.” The coach added that Andersen could possibly miss the rest of the season.
Smith also said it’s a shoulder/pectoral injury for the linebacker. Other specific details of Andersen’s injury are not yet known.
ESPN’s Michael Rothstein tweeted that he saw Andersen wearing a sling on his right arm while he was leaving the locker room on Sunday.
Andersen suffered his injury on the final play of the game.
Losing Andersen would be a significant blow for the Falcons defense. In two games this season, the 24-year-old linebacker has posted 19 combined tackles, including 1 tackle for loss, 1 quarterback hit and 0.5 sacks.
In Week 1, he was tied for the team lead with 10 combined tackles. Last season as a rookie, he had 69 tackles, including 40 solos, 3 tackles for loss, 3 quarterback hits, 1 pass defense and 1 forced fumble.
The only good news is the Falcons already have experience playing without Andersen this season. The second-year linebacker missed Week 2 because of a concussion.
Nathan Landman played well in his place. Landman has 6 combined tackles, including 1 tackle for loss this season.
According to the Pro Football Focus player grades, Landman has been the third-best defender for the Falcons this season. He’s been particularly strong in run defense, scoring a 90.5 grade out of 100 against the run.
Interestingly, PFF has Andersen ranked 19th among Atlanta’s defensive players with a 50.6 overall grade.
After their 20-6 loss to the Detroit Lions on Sunday, the Falcons will look to bounce back against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 4.