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When Will Injured Cordarrelle Patterson Return for Falcons?

The Atlanta Falcons have looked hapless on offense since the loss of Cordarrelle Patterson. How close was he to playing, and when will he be back?

The Atlanta Falcons were embarrassed by the New England Patriots 25-0 on Thursday night. The defense played well enough to keep the Falcons in the game until the fourth quarter, but for the second game in a row, the Falcons could muster little to no offense.

The Falcons obviously missed their season MVP in Cordarrelle Patterson, who was a game-time decision with his ankle problem. He was left off of the active roster on Thursday, but how close was he to playing, and when did the Falcons make a final decision on his status?

"We worked him out about two-and-a-half hours before kickoff,  give or take," said Falcons head coach Arthur Smith. "Didn't think it was in the best interest. Obviously a guy that wants to play. He's a big part of this team. But it wasn't going to be – wouldn't be good for him.''

Patterson was clearly missed in the game. The Falcons were held to their lowest output in yards for the season at 165 and obviously lowest output on points after being shutout.

"You have contingency plans," said Smith. "When you go in there, can't ever just be one for one. He's a special player. Tried everything we could. Clearly it wasn't good enough. Credit to New England."

One of the contingency plans was running back Qadree Ollison. Ollison got his first carries of the season after being elevated from the practice squad for the game.

Ollison was a fifth-round pick by the Falcons in the 2019 NFL Draft out of Pittsburgh, and he had 22 carries as a rookie, but has obviously never been a featured back.

Starting running back Mike Davis had just three carries for one yard on the night as he was stuffed in the backfield every time he was handed the ball.

Quarterback Matt Ryan missed Patterson as much as anyone on Thursday. An already limited group of offensive skill players was hamstrung even more.

"It's always tough when you don't have some of your guys out there," said Ryan. "C.P. has been such a big part of what we've done offensively."

"But the rest of the group, we didn't do enough to be as productive as we needed to be. It's always tough when guys are out, but it's never an excuse. You’ve got to find a way to get the job done."

"Wasn't a good enough effort from us on the offensive side of the ball."

It's good news that Patterson was close to returning for the Patriots. It was reported earlier in the week that he could be out for several weeks. While it remains to be seen how effective he can be when he returns, it's probably that he plays in the Falcons next game against the Jacksonville Jaguars on November 28.

The Falcons are going to need him. They've been shut out for six straight quarters since Patterson went out against the Cowboys.

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