The Atlanta Falcons’ backbreaking meltdowns ultimately cost Dan Quinn his job, a rash of injuries contributed to the firing.
At least on offense, no injury proved more difficult for the Falcons to overcome than a lingering hamstring issue for All-Pro wideout Julio Jones. Jones missed two games entirely due to the injury and lost time in others.
But the Falcons have dealt with missed time from more than just Jones. Both Calvin Ridley and Russell Gage have left games early due to injuries, further reducing the impact of the offense. Gage in particular played only 62% of Atlanta’s offensive snaps due to a nagging shoulder injury, his lowest for a game he finished.
Fantasy Football analysis: Falcons WRs Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, Russel Gage
Though the injury report has largely loomed over the Falcons this season, the situation looks brighter entering Week 6’s matchup with the Minnesota Vikings. Jones and Gage came off the report Friday, signaling their availability for Sunday.
The duo’s return comes at the perfect time for fantasy managers as the Vikings defense — specifically its young secondary — has struggled badly to hold back wide receivers all season. Opposing wideouts have already piled up a whopping 967 yards and nine touchdowns. Jones in particular seems primed for a statement game.
Ridley didn’t appear on the report this week despite battling thigh and knee issues earlier in the month. While the third-year wideout might not actually be 100% recovered, it bodes well that the Falcons didn’t even deem his injuries worthy of reporting.
Fantasy Start/Sit Recommendation
Start Jones as a WR1.
Start Ridley as a WR 1.