NFC Notes: Falcons, Panthers, Saints


In a season when he was expected to step up as the Falcons’ unquestioned No. 1 wide receiver, Calvin Ridley has had some struggles so far in 2021. He’s struggled with drops, has yet to top 100 yards receiving in a game and is averaging under 10 yards per catch. Falcons HC Arthur Smith said they expect more from Ridley. 

“Up and down,” Smith said when asked to characterize Ridley’s play, via D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “We expect more, and Calvin knows that. I’m not telling you anything I don’t tell the players. … He’s one of our top guys. He’s one of our captains. … Nobody has higher expectations than he does for himself than we do. That’s why I call his number. I believe in Calvin. I called it, we can all play better.”

  • Falcons second-round S Richie Grant continues to struggle to get on the field but veteran S Duron Harmon says patience is necessary: “The future is really bright for him, but right now, he’s still trying to perfect his role. The coaches give us roles each and every week. The faster he embraces his role, the more responsibilities he will get. It’s on him.”
  • OUT for Week 5: DT Marlon Davidson (ankle), WR Russell Gage (ankle), WR Calvin Ridley (not injury related – personal matter)
  • DOUBTFUL for Week 5: S Erik Harris (calf), CB Avery Williams (hamstring)


  • New Panthers’ CB Stephon Gilmore passed his physical and is now eligible to play with the team in Week 7. (Albert Breer)
  • Gilmore told the media he likely would have signed with the Panthers had the Patriots went through with releasing him. (David Newton)
  • Gilmore himself would not say if he will be ready for Week 7 but said that he has been running and lifting in preparation for his return. (Newton)
  • OUT for Week 5: T Cameron Erving (neck), LB Shaq Thompson (foot)
  • DOUBTFUL for Week 5: RB Christian McCaffrey (hamstring)
  • QUESTIONABLE for Week 5: DE Yetur Gross-Matos (ankle)


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