Cordarrelle Patterson is one of the most versatile players in the NFL, and it looks like the Atlanta Falcons will be without him for several weeks.
Head coach Arthur Smith revealed at his media briefing on Wednesday that Patterson’s injury could take some time to heal.
“Arthur Smith said Cordarrelle Patterson will be out a couple weeks, likely the rest of the preseason and they will reevaluate and have more info on his status in the week before Week 1,” per Atlanta Falcons reporter Tori McElhaney on Twitter.
Smith said “soft-tissue” which can mean either a bruise or a muscle strain/pull. With a couple of weeks, it’s likely the latter.
Patterson has been arguably the Falcons’ most-effective weapon each of the last two seasons. He returns kicks as well as plays wide receiver and running back.
That’s the bad news.
The good news is the Falcons can afford to let him get healthy. With tight end Kyle Pitts and wide receiver Drake London as the primary receiving targets coupled with the rushing attack led by rookie Bijan Robinson and 1,000-yard rusher Tyler Allgeier, Atlanta can survive without Patterson.
Free agent Mack Hollins has looked good through training camp as the second wide receiver behind London. The Falcons have gotten contributions from Scotty Miller, Xavier Malone, KhaDarel Hodge and more at receiver.
Running back Godwin Igwebuike led the Falcons in rushing against the Miami Dolphins last week. He could be the biggest beneficiary of an extended absence by Patterson. Igwebuike was unlikely to make the 53-man roster, but he has a chance to be RB3 if Patterson is out to start the regular season.
Patterson is the X-Factor in this Falcons offense. There’s no question Atlanta is a better team with him on the field, but this is a team with enough talent to win without him.