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How Is Calvin Ridley Looking at Atlanta Falcons Practice?

Wide receiver Calvin Ridley missed the Falcons last game. How has he looked at practice this week?

Atlanta wide receiver Calvin Ridley missed the Falcons last game with the New York Jets two weeks ago for personal reasons.

He is back in action this week, and quarterback Matt Ryan is encouraged by what he sees from Ridley.

"Good. I thought he practiced well for us," said Ryan when asked specifically about Ridley. "Was out there flying around, which has always been the case for him. I mean he comes out and he plays with unbelievable energy and great speed and thought he looked great."

Ryan didn't just miss Ridley against the Jets, as the Falcons other starting receiver Russell Gage has missed the last three games with a lingering ankle injury.

Gage's injury has provided an opportunity for other receivers.

"It's always tough when guys go down, there's no question about that," said Ryan. "I always like to have the full complement of players, because they're such talented guys. But I’m proud of the way the guys, the other wide receivers stepped up and filled that void."

"They played tough, it's a really good group that we have, you know, an unselfish group of guys that all pull for each other and that's the case with guys being out like Calvin and Russ. They're pulling for guys like OZ (Olamide Zaccheaus) or Tajae [Sharpe] to step up and play well."

"It's cool to see as a teammate and that's what you want. You want a bond of guys that you know are encouraging others and also want to do well for themselves."

The opportunity to play while Ridley and Gage missed time should provide dividends this season with a deeper pool of experienced receivers to work with.

"It should create confidence and belief that when their time comes, they're ready to go," said Ryan. "They've proven that over and over throughout the season, even when those guys were up at different times in games."

"I think back for like Tajae and OZ in New York, playing against the Giants, both of those guys came up with huge plays for us in critical situations."

"So I would only imagine it helps to build their confidence as they're moving forward."

With Ridley and Gage back, the Falcons are expected to be at full strength against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday at receiver. Their absence created opportunities for not just Zaccheaus and Sharpe but also tight end Kyle Pitts and Cordarrelle Patterson.

Pitts and Patterson combined for 179 yards receiving as Ryan threw for a season high 342 yards last time out against the Jets.

The Dolphins have the 29th-ranked passing defense in the NFL through Week 6. Ryan and his full corps of weapons hopes to heap more misery on them on Sunday.

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