Two starters returned for the Atlanta Falcons at practice on Wednesday. But starting linebacker Troy Andersen missed the practice session.
Falcons head coach Arthur Smith told reporters on September 13 that Andersen entered the concussion protocol. He must pass a series of tests in order to return to practice or be ready to play in Week 2.
“He came in (Tuesday) and didn’t feel right, so we put him in the protocol,” Smith said at his press conference on September 13. “Any time somebody comes in a day after, two days after or anytime — we take that seriously.”
Andersen started his sixth career game on Sunday against the Carolina Panthers. He finished tied for the team lead with 10 total tackles. He also had 1 quarterback hit, 1 tackle for loss and 0.5 sacks.
The Falcons drafted Andersen in the second round of the 2022 NFL draft. He posted 69 combined tackles, including 3 tackles for loss and 3 quarterback hits in 17 games as a rookie.
Andersen started the final four games last season. He also started in Week 6 against the San Francisco 49ers. In that contest, he posted a career-high 13 combined tackles.
While Andersen was absence from Wednesday’s practice, cornerback Jeff Okudah and joker Cordarrelle Patterson returned. Both players missed Week 1 with injuries.
Patterson was a full participant in practice. He was limited at practice last week before sitting out on Sunday. Patterson has been dealing with a thigh injury for several weeks.
Okudah was limited in practice. He is recovering from an ankle injury he suffered on August 4.
It would be a huge lift for the Falcons to get back either Patterson or Okudah in Week 2. The Falcons will host the Green Bay Packers, who are also 1-0.
Tight end Jonnu Smith and defensive lineman Calais Campbell also didn’t practice on Wednesday. But Atlantafalcons.com’s Scott Bair reported both sat out to receive additional rest and not because of an injury.